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Wash Your Hands After Reading This
Hey there, Constant Readers. The bad news is, as of Tuesday, I’m still testing positive for COVID. The better news is, while I’m not perfectly 100% yet, I am feeling more like myself than I was last week. There’s still some coughing and nose-blowing going on, but pretty much sleeping OK and good stuff like that.
So while I don’t feel like having a drink just yet, it is a good time to talk about picking wines for Thanksgiving next week! This is the best time to do your drinks shopping. Do not, I beg you, leave it till the last minute. There is no such thing as “just popping in to the wine store” the day before.
Everyone’s ideal Thanksgiving meal looks different. Mine has a bunch of juicy turkey, stuffing (or dressing, depending on your personal belief system), mashed potatoes, gravy, some nice green veg. I also love a bit of cranberry sauce. Pa Wiz likes the wiggly jiggly canned stuff, while I prefer the aromatherapy benefits of simmering berries in sugar and red wine on the stove (a cheap and cheerful pinot noir or zinfandel does the trick). Cranberry brings acidity to all that creaminess and refreshes your palate. That’s the best quality to look for in your wine for dinner.
Rather than rattle off a list of particular wines that may or may not be available near you, I want to give you some possible grapes and things to ask for at the wine store. This is another reason you want to do your shopping early, so you can ask the nice wine store folks for their advice. Ask for something with a lot of acidity and light to medium body.
For whites, like any food pairing situation, riesling is the absolute easiest. And there are plenty of styles that will please everyone, from dry to slightly sweet. Unoaked chardonnay would be great too. Sauvignon blanc, as long as it’s not too green or too citrusy, is a popular choice. Albariño, a Spanish white, would be a fresh option too!
When we’re talking reds with high acidity, pinot noir is classic. I’ve mentioned before that I prefer Oregon and coastal California pinots for their balance, which we definitely want here. Gamay, from the Beaujolais region, also has great berry juiciness and would go well. Zinfandel is too bold and can be a bit jammy, but that homemade cranberry sauce? That’s its perfect home.
I’ve typically preached that American wines should only be served on this uniquely American holiday. But I don’t know. Maybe it’s the cough syrup talking, but I’m willing to revisit that rule. A nice French Burgundy would be a nice treat.
Keep your fingers crossed that I can attend Thanksgiving with my family this year, and I’ll do the same for you. Whatever you drink, please do it safely. If you have any other questions, please drop them in the comments!