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Talking Thanksgiving wine with Clos du Val winemaker John Clews

by TrevR on November 16, 2007

So far we’ve heard from a world-class chef and a top-notch sommelier regarding Thanksgiving wine. Now, on this Friday morning we’re bringing you a super-quick interview with a local winemaker–it’s a bit brief due to the fact he was just getting set to jet off on a business trip to Japan, but still fun and insightful nonetheless.

John Clews is a winemaker at Clos du Val winery and is currently responsible for overseeing all aspects of vineyard and wine production. Clews joined Clos Du Val in April 1999, after acting as general manager/chief enologist at Steele Wines, and working at Newton Vineyard in Napa Valley and Preston Vineyards in Sonoma County.

OK, enough with the formalities, let’s get down to the Turkey talk!

CB: In your opinion, what’s the single biggest myth around pairing wine with a Thanksgiving feast and why?

Clos du Val winemaker John ClewsClews: That any one wine will match the diversity of flavors at a Thanksgiving table.

CB: We’ve heard all kinds of advice about which wine goes best with the traditional Thanksgiving feast of turkey, stuffing, potatoes, etc. Some suggest that Pinot Noir is the best option due to its ability to compliment a wide variety of flavors, while others say a nice, solid Sauvignon Blanc pairs best with turkey and stuffing. What’s your advice to someone looking to find the ideal wine to go with their Thanksgiving meal?

Clews: I agree that Pinot is a very versatile wine. But I would also recommend other soft red wines like Cru Beaujolais and even older Cabs.

CB: Which wine (or wines) do you expect to have on the table during your upcoming Thanksgiving celebration?

Clews: We will be drinking Clos Du Val for the holiday – the 2004 Pinot Noir made from grapes from our Carneros vineyard and the 1985 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, which is still very vibrant despite being more than 20 years old!

CB: Cheers, Happy Turkey Day John!

[techtags: Napa, Napa Valley, wine, winery, Clos du Val, John Clews, winemaker, 2004 Clos du Val Carneros Pinot Noir, cabernet sauvignon, thanksgiving wine, thanksgiving wine pairings]

About the Author

has written 716 posts on The Cork Board. He was born and aged in the Napa Valley and has a passion for wine, writing and social media, which led him to co-found this blog in early 2007. Follow him on Twitter @TrevR.

  • http://www.mirassou.com/women_in_business/dreams.asp Linda

    Good read… I’ve been asking around for the past few weeks about what wine to have at our house this year.. It’s my mine and my husbands first time doing this at our new place, and I want to make it right!
    Looks like the Pinot Minor…Did you guys know that Mirassou Winery first introduced the Pinot Minor to California? They are also holding an amazing contest for us women entrepreneurs. Mirassou will award one aspiring business women with $50,000 and a team of trained professionals to help get it off the ground. Check out http://www.mirassou.com/women_in_business/dreams.asp
    for all official rules.. I just thought I’d spread the word since it came to mind… Doesn’t that all sound great!?

  • http://www.mirassou.com/women_in_business/dreams.asp Linda

    Good read… I’ve been asking around for the past few weeks about what wine to have at our house this year.. It’s my mine and my husbands first time doing this at our new place, and I want to make it right!
    Looks like the Pinot Minor…Did you guys know that Mirassou Winery first introduced the Pinot Minor to California? They are also holding an amazing contest for us women entrepreneurs. Mirassou will award one aspiring business women with $50,000 and a team of trained professionals to help get it off the ground. Check out http://www.mirassou.com/women_in_business/dreams.asp
    for all official rules.. I just thought I’d spread the word since it came to mind… Doesn’t that all sound great!?

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