Talking Thanksgiving wine with Clos du Val winemaker John Clews

by TrevR on November 16, 2007

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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]

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has written 726 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 and Google+.

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