Over at Swirl’s wine headquarters, we drink a lot of wine during the Thanksgiving weekend. Not just during the meal, but the whole weekend. We’ve taken pictures of the numbers of bottles we’ve gone through and it’s simply embarrassing and nears a call for counseling if it weren’t known that the adults present treat the weekend as a vacation while the grandparents monitor the six children wreaking havoc.
Just as Thanksgiving dinner is as much of an excuse to overeat as it is to give thanks, drinking wine during Thanksgiving weekend is a reason to pull out the good bottles each of us wine loving adults has been saving all year in hopes of impressing the other wine drinkers in the house and secretly wishing our choices are the ones most loved. As for during the meal itself, choosing wine to go with the wide array of dishes traditionally served on this holiday dedicated to eating (my favorite kind) can be challenging. Yams, turkey, cranberry, mashed potatoes, pies, and whatever greens manage to sneak their way in – with the exception of dry sparkling wine, no one wine will work perfectly with all of these dishes.
Instead, choose few food friendly (i.e. good acidity, dry and not overly tannic) wines on the more affordable size. Don’t be afraid of trying a bunch of different wines. Think of Thanksgiving as a testing ground for what you want to serve during the December holiday season. Check out the suggestions below:
St Michael-Eppan Lagrein, 2008, Alto Adige, Italy – I’m having an Italian (wine) love affair currently and Lagrein from Alto Adige makes for an irresistible lover. The smooth tannins and blackberry and earthy plum notes are backed by fine acidity. ($16)
Rocca Sveva Valpolicella Ripasso 2007 Italy – The love affair continues with the Valpolicella Ripasso style of wine that has somehow managed to stay under the mass radar but is loved by foodies. It’s tart, dried cherries and shows just enough earthiness not to be dusty. Very easy to drink throughout the meal. ($21)
Quinta de Roriz, “Prazo de Roriz”, 2008, Douro, Spain – You could drink this wine into the next day if you didn’t already have a headache. Not overly complex or opulent to take away from dinner but is supported by bright acidity that makes it infinitely drinkable. An excellent value. ($16)
Pali “Riviera” Pinot Noir 2008 Sonoma Coast, CA – There are nearly zero Pinot Noirs from the US I would recommend under $15 but this slightly heavier than normal Pinot gets an enthusiastic thumbs up for just a few dollars more. (Found as low as $18 online)
Biltmore Estate, Blanc de Blanc Brut Sparkling Wine NV, CA – Made in the traditional Champagne method, this delightful sparkling wine can be drunk throughout the entire meal. An excellent value compared to most Champagne. Green apple and lemon flavors shine through. ($25)
Luigi Bosca, Sauvignon Blanc Reserva 2009, Argentina – An aromatic nose of honeysuckle and a touch of lemon; it’s fresh tasting but without the mouth-puckering acidity like so many Sauvignon Blancs on the market. ($21)
Veramonte, Sauvignon Blanc Reserva, 2009, Casablanca Valley, Chile – Another crisp Sauvignon Blanc to try that doesn’t sear your mouth with tartness but instead has nice lemon sweet grape flavors. A “Best Buy”. ($9-$11 online)
Cantina Terlano, Gewurztraminer, 2009, Alto Adige, Italy – A delightful, medium bodied white wine with a spicy finish and enough acidity to keep it fresh tasting. Marshmallow topped sweet potatoes anyone? Yes, a near perfect pairing. And if you’re one of the adventurous ones who buck tradition, this wine is for you and your spicier dishes. ($25)