My family is large no matter which side you're looking at, so to have most of us in the same place at the same time is quite a feat. Sitting at a table with dishes loaded with food, and surrounded by family, is my very favourite place to be so Thanksgiving always ranks top of the list for feast days. We were fortunate this past weekend to celebrate Thanksgiving with both sides of my family, which meant double the food, family, and, naturally, double the wine!
This year we decided to buck tradition and brought a white wine to each dinner, giving us a refreshing choice beyond the Cabernet Sauvignon that is always in attendance. I chose two Canadian Gewürztraminers from the Okanagan region of British Columbia.
Our first stop of the weekend was my aunt's house for a dinner with my paternal family. The majority of the crowd leans red, while my grandparents prefer German whites. My selection for this dinner was a 2015 Gewürztraminer from Sumac Ridge Estate near Oliver in the South Okanagan.
Established in 1979, Sumac Ridge Estates produces a variety of wines under three labels: Sumac Ridge, Black Sage Vineyard, and Steller's Jay Sparkling. Their Gewürztraminers have been consistently winning awards for the last five years, with the 2015 vintage winning the Silver Medal at the 2016 WineAlign National Wine Awards of Canada.
Medium body, medium plus in acidity, Sumac's gewürtz is a classic example of the Canadian varietal. The nose is all floral and fruit, which is echoed on the palate with grapefruit, crisp apple, and the distinctive floral notes found in the BC summertime. The sweetness was not cloying or overbearing, but it was on the sweeter end of the spectrum for gewürtz.
This bottle was definitely a young wine, with a sweetness that was slightly overbearing when paired with the savoury flavours at dinner. I quite enjoyed it with dessert, where the sweetness felt more at home than with the main course. Not an unforgettable bottle of wine, but great value. Next time I would chill it longer, and pair it with a poached salmon in order to let the flavours of the wine shine.
Tasting Notes: dominated by fruits and florals | Crisp apples, citrus resembles grapefruit, vanilla undertone| medium plus sweetness | $22 CAD
Our second dinner of the weekend was on Monday night, this time with my maternal family. Boisterous, passionate, and mostly female, you really never know where the conversation will veer with this crowd. Knowing that both my aunt and my parents would have the reds covered (two cabernet sauvignons and one italian blend), I chose the 2014 See Ya Later Ranch Gewürztraminer with the knowledge that it would most likely be drank by my husband and I alone.
See Ya Later Ranch is a beautiful winery located just outside of the town of Okanagan Falls, British Columbia, in the famed Okanagan Wine Region in western Canada. Their consistently high-quality production has earned them a stellar reputation within the Canadian wine industry as well as over 100 awards since 2007. A Gold Medal winner at the 2015 San Francisco International Wine Competition, and a Bronze Medal from the 2015 British Columbia Wine Awards, I selected the 2014 Gewürztraminer as much for its pedigree as for my personal love of the winery.
Medium in body, it's less dry than most BC Gewürztraminer offerings. On the nose, classic florals and fruits mingle with citrus notes. On the palate, the wine is luscious and balanced, with classic notes of lychee mingling with white pepper. I found a slight earthiness in the background of the flavours, the best description would be granite or stone.
Overall, I loved the wine. It paired well with the turkey, and the flavour held its own against the more seasoned dishes like roasted brussel sprouts and stuffing.
Tasting Notes: clean nose | fruity aromas | taste profile crisp and clean | citrus notes, light on vanilla, lychee, peach, ginger? | balanced sweetness | medium plus acidity | $25 CAD