Three French Wines For Thanksgiving: Fixin, Fat Bastard and Colombelle

Thanksgiving is here and it’s time for feasting. As a nation, we have surely earned it this year with all the election stress. Now it’s time to relax with loved ones over the long weekend and enjoy good food,  home cooking and good wines.


Of course there are a lot of excellent domestic U.S. wines. And somehow with the turkey dinner it seems only right to serve them along with the stuffing and mashed potatoes.

But there’s still the whole weekend to get through, usually surrounded by relatives, and, of course, all those turkey day leftovers.

These are some French wines you might like to discover this holiday season. They’re each from a different region and really have not much in common with one another except they’re all from France. You’re sure to impress your friends and family members with them, though, and after a few glasses, your relatives might even start to seem like family again. : )



This is a Burgundy wine that is produces as both a red and a white. The red wines are Pinot Noir and the whites made from Chardonnay. The appellation, Fixin, was established in 1936 and is part of the Cote de Nuit region (Cote-d’Or) of Burgundy, France.

The reds are best aged a few years at which point they offer a solid structure, round and full with a delicate texture. These pair well with tapas, paella and nice French cheeses like a Comté.

The whites are a wonderful accompaniment with shellfish and poultry in white sauce.


Fat Bastard

This is one of the most popular French wines sold in the U.S. Its origins is from the Cote du Rhone, the region in France that Robert Parker is so fond of.  These wines offer an excellent quality to price value and pair nicely with those leftovers.

The nice thing is that this French wine is labeled American-style, by the mono-varietal it’s made with. So you have your choice among cabernet sauvignon, chardonnay, merlot, pinot noir, sauvignon blanc and syrah.

And because there is no way I can improve upon this story, here it is as told by the Fat Bastard er winemakers themselves:

Guy was a rebel in the wine industry believing that quality was paramount in a wine but that the average consumer hated the traditional intimidation heaped on them by most of the wine industry. The two had collaborated before and this was yet another chance to drink wine, catch up on family and enjoy a few days together. After tasting hundreds of barrel samples both were pleased with the quality, but not blown away.

After sleeping in past noon due to the late night before, Thierry thought he would have Guy try an experimental wine he had in a few barrels in the back of the cellar. “Dis is an experiment wine; we left it on de lees. We try it no?” “Sure Thierry, you know how hard it is to get me to try a new wine.” Both friends had no idea that leaving the wine in barrel on the lees (yeast cells) would result is such a dramatic difference from the wine they tried the day before. It had a wonderful color and rich, round palate. Both men stood and stared at each other for what seemed like five minutes until Thierry exclaimed “now zat iz what you call eh phet bast-ard” Guy laughed with a belly laugh you could clearly hear in the neighboring town. He had used the expression Fat bastard often to describe things that were great but hearing it in a French accent made it so much funnier. After several more glasses of this great nectar they agreed that they could not withhold it from the public.

When it came to a name only one was considered. It was named after the expression that it originally evoked, Fat bastard.

Had enough? Not Yet? Here’s more: Fat Bastard Wines



Colombelle is a French wine from the southern region of Gascogne. It’s a region that sits midway between Biarritz (on the Atlantic coast) and Toulouse. Its appellation is Côtes de Gascogne which offers a climate that is conducive to aromatic wines because of its warm days and cool nights regulated by ocean breezes coming off the Pyrénées.

Colombelle is the name of several wines produced by Plaimont, all white. The two drier whites are made from blends of colombard and ugni blanc. Those are Colombelle and Colombelle L’Original. These wines can be drunk young and are exceedingly refreshing. Nicely paired with shellfish, some cheeses or even as a simple aperitif.

The real highlight here though is the Colombelle Charmes. This is a sweet wine, but not overly so as some of the vendanges tardives (late harvest) wines can be. It’s made entirely with Gros Manseng as its varietal.

This is a perfect dessert wine and pairs effortlessly with apple pie, foie gras or the French tarte tatin. To be a bit daring you could also pair it with a roast chicken baked with exotic spices.

Of course you could always just open a bottle while sitting around the kitchen table and peeling, coring and cutting the apples to put in the apple pie. It’s sure to make baking the apple pie one of the more cherished traditions in your home.

The only downside about this wine is that it’s not yet much exported to the U.S. However, their production overall is millions of bottles annually, so ordering from them shouldn’t be too much of a problem, I wouldn’t think.

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