Food & Wine,Wine

Sumptuous Thanksgiving Wines ~ Helfrich Steinklotz Grand Cru and 2007 Noble Varieties

Having worked with Helfrich wine in the past, I’m very familiar with the extreme price to value ratio being offered. I also know the quality of the wine I’m listing below, because I was able to enjoy these wines with food, and know that these wines are superb. As Thanksgiving approaches, I know that these wines are a great addition to anyone’s wine list for this Thanksgiving.

I’m going to pair them with recipes from the Williams-Sonoma Thanksgiving recipe book published by Simon-Schuster.

Let’s see if I can get though this without drooling:

2007 Vin d’Alsace Helfrich Pinot Gris ($14.99) ~ Curried Nuts and Raisins

  • STARTER: Because of its residual sugar [21 grams per Liter] and 12.5 percent alcohol, the sweetness of this wine can take the heat of the curry and freshly ground black and white peppers, along with a bit of cayenne pepper and other spices of ginger and cinnamon.

2005 Steinklotz Alsace Grand Cru Helfrich Riesling ($24.99) ~ Mushrooms Stuffed with Crab and Almonds

  • STARTER: The residual sugar with this wine [also 21 grams per Liter] and 13 percent alcohol, easily combines with this recipe’s smooth mushroom caps stuffed with a bread crumb, crab, and egg mixture. This dish has a mild flavor profile, and the Riesling easily boosts the enjoyment of this food and wine combination.

2006 Kallfelz Estate, Single Vineyard Riesling Kabinett (($19.99) ~ Baked Ham with Honey-Brandy Glaze

  • THE MAIN COURSE: Another wine with noticeable residual sugar [18 grams per Liter], the 12.5 percent alcohol keeps this wine in perfect balance, and begs to help neutralize the saltiness of a ham dish. The glaze of brandy, unfiltered apple cider, and honey, along with cloves that have been placed onto a scored fully cooked, bone-in smoked ham, creates an explosion of flavors that all combine with each other to delight a palate.

2007 Vin d’Alsace Helfrich Gewurtztraminer ($14.99) ~ Brined Turkey Breast with Lemon-Parlsey Gravy

  • THE MAIN COURSE: As with all turkey dishes, the meat itself, being less flavorful than – say – prime rib au jus – begs for a wine that will perfectly complement it. A Gewurtz fills the bill nicely, and this one has a 22.5 grams per liter fulfillment. The lemon juice, which is very acidic is nicely complemented by this wine, but I’d definitely cut back on the amount brown sugar called for, in order to get that nice balance. (I’d convert the 1 1/2 cups of sugar to 1 cup of sugar, and the balance will come back to the dish if served with an off-dry wine like this one.)

2007 Vin d’Alsace Helfrich Riesling ($14.99 – a steal) ~ Dried-Fruit Compote with Bourbon and Creme Anglaise

  • DESSERT: This wine is the driest of all that I’ve mentioned [7.9 grams per Liter]. The dessert is very rich, so I’d create the food and wine balance with serving this dry wine. It’s completely refreshing on its own, b-t-w, but will also beautifully complement this dish with its crisp, well structured style with its beautiful crisp autumn fruit nose.

2005 Helfrich Riesling Grand Cru ($24.99) ~ A wide range of cheeses of your choice

  • DESSERT: This wine has a a tiny bit of residual sugar; however, it delivers such sophisticated flavors, I’d simply serve this one with a final cheese dish that gets passed around to your guests.

Where’s the red wine? I’ll run through some red wines next week. With so many whites that became available for me to share, this is what’s on my mind and delivered to you for options as a starter this season.

And, a lot has been offered here, so make sure if you enjoy this many options, you give your guests overnight accommodations, too.

Helfrich wines are made in the Alsace region of France, which enjoys a 2,000 year history of winemaking. [My mother’s maiden name was Bernier, which rhymes with Viognier… Which is a Rhone, but you get the picture and pronunciation.] Their winemaking philosophy is “…to allow minimal influence in the cellar to preserve that natural ‘terroir’ and potential of the wine,” states Frederic Helfrich. It’s evident in the wines that he’s been extremely successful, and I adore these wines.

5 Responses to “Sumptuous Thanksgiving Wines ~ Helfrich Steinklotz Grand Cru and 2007 Noble Varieties”

  1. kevin keith says:

    Jo –

    What time is dinner?


  2. Jo says:

    Kevin, too funny!

    This is the first year since 1976 that I’m not cooking at home for my family and friends! I’m taking my dishes and wine and heading to my daughter Melanie’s. No more cleaning the kitchen for days after! There IS a Santa Clause!

    I’ll ask Melie if she’s got room for you and all your close personal friends.

    Happy Thanksgiving, if we don’t get to have your company!

  3. Mary & Dan Helfrich says:


    We are the Helfrich’s from Maryland and are quite intrigued by the good reviews of the Helfrich wines. We are going to buy a case to give to Helfrich relatives for Christmas gifts.

    Mary & Dan Helfrich
    Columbia, Maryland

  4. Tony & Katie Helfrich says:


    We are Helfrich’s from Kansas and are not only happy that the Helfrich wine gets such good reviews for the price at which it’s available, but also that it even exists.

    We think it’s just great and will also be buying a case for Christmas.

    Tony Helfrich
    Wichita, KS

  5. Jo says:

    This is a charming way to turn a Thanksgiving wine story into a Christmas wine blessing for all of you… May & Dan, Tony & Katie.

    Happy holidays and thanks for commenting.

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