NC Wine at Thanksgiving

thanksgiving dinner

So many things to be thankful for and here is one more … North Carolina is making some fantastic wines and you should be serving them at your Thanksgiving tables. Yes, we are one of the fastest growing wine regions in the country and currently we are the tenth largest producer of wine in the country! Here are some ideas to pair with your upcoming feasts.

Begin your holiday dinner by toasting with a bit of the bubbly. Yes, we make sparkling wines in North Carolina. You will find excellent sparkling wines from RayLen Vineyards and Biltmore. My recommendation is a special wine from Raffaldini Vineyards in Ronda called La Dolce Vita. Just the name alone is the perfect beginning to your celebration – The Sweet Life. The wine is primarily Orange Muscat with some Petit Manseng and Traminette in the blend and it won a Double Gold medal at the NC State Fair Wine Competition.


Toast your Thanksgiving dinner with a bit of NC sparkling wine.

For the dinner there is always the age old problem of some like red and some like white wines. And to complicate matters, people always think you must have white with poultry, assuming a turkey is on the menu. Here is an important rule to remember … in wine there are NO rules. You should definitely offer both a red and white at dinner.

For the white selection try a Viognier, a traditional French varietal from the Bordeaux, Loire and Rhone regions.This has a citrusy, floral aroma and tasting notes that will pair well with turkey, cranberry relish and sweet potato pie. Try Round Peak’s award winning Viognier from Mt. Airy.                                                                                                                                                                                                                    RoundPeak_Viognier

And for the red wine drinkers in the group you want a medium bodied red that will compliment and not dominate the dinner. Go with a Chambroucin which is a French / American hybrid that produces a beautiful medium-bodied wine with a wonderful finish. The fruit-forward profile of blackberry, black raspberry and black cherry make this an immediately approachable red, inviting food pairings unthinkable with most reds. Go with the Chambroucin from Flint Hill Vineyards in East Bend.

flint hill chamroucin

Finally it is time for the pie parade – apple, pumpkin, berry and so much more. This sweet dessert deserves a sweet wine. And so why not try the wine that was just selected by the NC State Fair Wine Competition as the BEST wine in the state. The Carolina Wildflower, from Hinnant Family Vineyards in Pine Level is a special a semi-sweet Muscadine from estate grown Carlos grapes and blended with fresh, local Wildflower Honey. It features flavors of honeysuckle, clover and jasmine and pairs beautifully with fruits, pies, cheeses or as an aperitif.

All of these wines are available through North Carolina Wine Gifts, here in Asheville. This year Drink Local and enjoy North Carolina Wine!

NC Wineries – Time to Visit


Fall at Burntshirt vineyards

NC Wineries are the perfect place to visit this fall. Looking for a destination for your fantastic fall foliage drive this year? There are 25 wineries all within 1 ½ hours of Asheville. Imagine exploring the vineyards of WNC, enjoying wine tastings at beautiful wineries or picnicking amid the streams and mountains surrounding the vineyards. Surprised that we have so many wineries here? You can check out the smallest, complete, free standing winery in America at Calaboose Cellars in Cherokee County or visit a winery with vineyards situated on both sides of the Eastern Continental Divide at some of highest elevations on the East Coast at Burntshirt Winery in Hendersonville. Every winery has a story!


Awards for Lake James Winery

NC Wineries and their wines are creating quite a stir in the wine world. We are one of the fastest growing wine regions in the country and our wines are winning international, regional and state-wide medals for excellence. Whether you prefer the fine dry reds and whites, the delicious semi-sweets or the down-home taste of our native Muscadine wine you will find them all within a short drive of Asheville. Forget Napa and Sonoma and check out NC Wine Country. You’ll find everything you need to plan your trip at WNC Wine Trails.


Visit the WNC Wine Trails

NC Wineries are growing every month! We are now up to more than 150 wineries state wide. Surprised?! Even more surprising is that prior to prohibition North Carolina was the largest wine producing state in the country! Of course, at that time it was primarily our native Muscadine wine – yes that sweet wine that everyone says their grandmothers used to make for them. The Muscadine wines have matured over the years. Read more about the history of NC Wine and the Muscadine grapes at North Carolina Wine Gifts. Go out and discover NC Wine Country this Fall!