Talking Turkey: Tahoe House Gourmet Suggests Wines for Holiday Meals

“Let’s Talk Turkey”, notes the Thanksgiving flyer at Tahoe House Bakery and Gourmet. This shop’s wine offerings offer perfect pairings for the Thanksgiving foods, baked items and gourmet delights available. There on the right wall as you enter the shop at 625 W. Lake Blvd in Tahoe City is the perfect wine to pair with your Thanksgiving dinner and other wine occasions is there, at affordable prices.

Founded as a full service restaurant in 1977 by Peter & Helen Vogt, ten years ago the Vogt family transformed the popular restaurant into a gourmet deli and bakery. Today, Caroline Vogt Lee carries on the fine food and wine tradition by finding good wines that are very food friendly.

“It just goes together, wine and food,” Caroline said. “When people pop in to get items for dinner, it’s nice that they can get their wines as well. And since we have an on-site license, they can also open a bottle of wine with a nice luncheon chosen from the deli items. “

Caroline is joined in the enterprise by her sister Barbara Vogt Melrose, who manages the deli and J. B. Joynt, chief baker.

“To start any meal, I’d recommend a sparkling wine,” said Caroline. She chose J Vineyards Brut Rose, a Russian River Valley non-vintage wine produced from grapes in the pinot family. It is a nicely balanced sparkling wine, with aroma of jasmine, lilac and ripe cherries, and some vanilla and cream with a toastiness in the taste. 12.5% alcohol. $26.99/bottle.

If you want to enhance your Thanksgiving dinner with the Pesto and Spinach Stuffed Mushrooms appetizer or the Sausage Stuffing with Thyme and Sage from the deli, then take home the Pine Ridge 2008 white blend. This Oakville winery got great kudos for this wine, and it was declared one of the San Francisco Chronicle's Top 100 Wines of 2009. The 81% Chenin Blanc, 19% Viognier blend has aroma of white flower, citrus taste, minerality and a nice finish. 12% alcohol. $14.99/bottle.

On to the main course, and right there at Tahoe House to explain his wines the day I visited, was Stefan Tscheppe, winemaker of Perry Creek Winery, Fair Play, CA. I adore Sierra Foothills wines, and the Perry Creek Barbera 2007 Sierra Foothills was magnificent. Stefan brings 6 generations of Austrian winemaking to bear in his alchemy at Perry Creek, and although the winery is home of the famous Zinman (ie, known for its Zinfandel), the Barbera is excellent. It’s a blend of two old vine vineyards, and is made close to the old northern Italian traditions. Only 550 cases were made of this wine. I liked the intense strawberry/blackberry aroma and taste, with a hint of cinnamon and chocolate that makes it dance on your palate. Pairs magnificently with turkey! 14.4% alcohol. $16.99/bottle.

Want to try a Pinot Noir with the turkey? Caroline recommends the Bouchaine Pinot Noir 2006, Carneros. A spicy aroma of blackberry and plum, and a taste that highlights the bright flavor or classic fruit from the Carneros area of Napa: pomegranate, plum, and cherry fruit flavors. A nicely tannic balance, and a silky finish. 14.1% alcohol, $23.99/bottle.

To finish your meal, the desserts from Tahoe House are compelling. I’d choose a caramel walnut torte, and pair it with a Dow’s 10 year Tawny Porto. A perfect match! 20% alcohol, $33/bottle.

Tahoe House is located at 625 W. Lake Blvd, Tahoe City CA 96145. Open Sunday - Thursday 6 am to 4 pm, and Friday and Saturday 6 am to 6 pm. Phone 530-583-1377. Closed Thanksgiving and Christmas Day.

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© 2010 Barbara Keck

For more information on dining and the wide range of activities around Lake Tahoe, see the online version of
The Tahoe Weekly. This article appeared in my column "It's Grape" in November 2010.

Watch for my forthcoming book: " Wineries of the Sierra and Its Foothills". Publication date Summer 2011, The Wine Appreciation Guild Publishing Division

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