To riff on one of our all-time favorite Seinfeld quotes (which we’ve been known to do from time-to-time): New Jersey wine country is real, and it’s spectacular. If you’ve ever taken a Sunday drive through the rolling hills of Warren County on a fall afternoon, home to the Warren Hills AVA, then you know how beautiful this setting can be. And if you’ve ever been fortunate to sample the wines from Alba Vineyard, then you know the caliber of wine this region of the Garden State is capable of producing.
For the uninitiated, Alba Vineyard is a 93-acre estate on the north side of the Musconetcong river valley. While the farm the estate sits on dates back to the early 1700’s, it was originally a dairy farm, so Alba’s vineyards are the first cultivation of the land. Its modest elevation helps avoid spring frosts and prolongs the growing season while the southern-facing slopes afford their vines all the sunlight exposure they need to grow grapes used to create wines that routinely receive international recognition.
With a winery like this right in our backyard, why would you look anywhere else for wines to serve with Thanksgiving dinner? Spoiler alert: we won’t. And since we generally try to avoid being greedy savages, it seemed appropriate that we share the wines from Alba that we’ll be pairing with our Thanksgiving dinner.
Estate Chardonnay or Dry Riesling with White Meat
At Thanksgiving Perrotti’s only carries fresh, never frozen turkeys from Jaindl Farms, so we know we can count on a juicy texture and succulent flavor profile regardless of how we cook it. Alba’s Estate Chardonnay is a creamy, multifaceted wine with layers of fig, pear, and melon supported by ample acidity that provides a dynamic pairing for white meat.
When we find ourselves getting up for second or third helpings (definitely thirds) of white meat, we’ll also be reaching for a glass of Alba’s Dry Riesling. It compliments turkey breast with bursts of ripe peach and bright citrus flavors, with a long, refreshing finish.
Estate Pinot Noir with Dark Meat
Aaaahh, dark meat: white meat’s seductive partner in crime. Reliably tender and juicy, even when we leave the turkey in the oven too long because we got caught up watching our fantasy football running back rack up garbage time points in a decisive victory over the Detroit Lions. Dark meat only deserves the best, and we find it in the Alba Estate Pinot Noir’s black cherry notes, earthy full mid-pallet lead, and long expressive finish.
You can find the Estate Pinot Noir in Alba’s tasting room, and trust us, the experience is worth the trip.
Old Mill Red and Eggplant Parmigiana
There may be plenty of butchers in our family, but that doesn’t mean we don’t share Thanksgiving Dinner with some vegetarians. We come prepared for our less carnivorous loved ones with a piping hot tray of our eggplant parmigiana and serve it alongside Old Mill Red, a fruit-forward, medium bodied wine that finishes soft and velvety.
Red Raspberry with a Sweets Platter
Our sweet tooth is legendary. A confrontational personal trainer would say we have no self-control, but they’re not writing this blog. We digress. The point is that when we look to satisfy that sweet tooth at the sweets platter, we also reach for wine that’s truly unique. As its name would suggest, Alba’s Red Raspberry is produced entirely from, you guessed it, whole red raspberries. The wine is sweet, with a slight tart edge to provide a rich berry experience without a syrupy finish. It pairs beautifully with chocolate desserts like our chocolate dipped cannolis or chocolate chip cookies.