I find it hard to believe that most Americans wait until right before dinner to make their wine purchases, but I hear far too often that wine drinkers in this country “age” their wines, on average, about two hours between purchase to consumption. I am sure that my loyal readers do not fall into this category (you don’t, right?), but I am fraught with dread that some poor schmucks out there have absolutely no wine in the house at this moment.
As most of you Americans know, tomorrow is Thanksgiving. If you are like most people, you will either be heading off to share dinner with family or friends, or they might be headed your way. Regardless, you will likely need some liquid refreshments to survive the holiday feast. If you do not have any wine ready for the event already, fear not, there is still time.
Although not a lot.
Yesterday, Snooth.com published several recommendations for the big Thanksgiving feast from some of the better writers out in the blogosphere (they also asked my opinion, hence the qualifier “some”). While all the suggestions would no doubt be fantastic, all (except one) would be virtually impossible to procure unless an ordered several weeks ago.
In other words, they ain’t down at the Safeway, Kroger, H.E.B., or Piggly Wiggly.
Thus, I am here to help.
Here are some of my favorite wines that not only would be welcomed on any Thanksgiving table, you can run out to your local grocery store and likely find all of them right now.
[For my dear friends that I left behind in the great Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, I am afraid this does not apply to you.]
2015 Bila-Haut Côtes du Roussillon Villages Rouge: Retail $15. Syrah, Grenache and Carignan. Bila-Haut, Michel Chapoutier’s brand from the Roussillon in Southwest France puts out several different bottlings and they are all fantastic. This red has nice bright fruit with just the right acidity to combat Aunt Mary’s sweet potatoes. Outstanding. 90-92 Points.
2015 Mezzacorona Pinot Grigio: Retail $8. (This was my choice for the Snooth article, by the way.) If budget is a concern, this has to be the best choice out there. Snappy and lively, this will improve even the driest of turkeys and probably costs less per pound! Outstanding. 89-91 Points.
2014 Cecchi Chianti Classico: Retail $15. 100% Sangiovese. There are a ton of Chiantis out there, but some claim the best come from the Chianti Classico region. While I am not going to take a side in that battle, this is a solid wine from a well-known producer. Restrained fruit, with plenty of snap, pile the stuffing high on your plate as long as you can still get a full-pour of this one. Very Good to Outstanding. 88-90 Points.
2014 Gary Farrell Russian River Selection Pinot Noir RRV: Retail $45. For me, Thanksgiving is not complete without a solid Pinot on the table, and you can’t do much better than this one. Sure, it is not the cheapest wine on the list, but if you are heading to your significant other’s wine loving parents’ house, intent on getting the blessing of your (hopefully) future father-in-law, this is your wine. Plop this on the table before you pop the question and I can (almost) guarantee success. Outstanding. 91-93 Points.
2014 Michael David Winery Seven Deadly Zins: Retail $16. For many, the “American” grape is the choice for the most American of holidays (although the Canadians have copied us, apparently—don’t get me started). This wine from Michael David has everything you need: big fruit, solid depth, and a tartness on the finish that will even pair with that green bean casserole with the dried onions on top, which is the only dish Uncle Cletus ever makes. Very Good. 87-89 Points.
2015 Château Miraval Côtes de Provence Rosé: Retail $25. Cinsault, Grenache, Syrah, Rolle. I know that many out there will not heed my advice, but rosé is a wine to be consumed year-round (and yes, I believed that before moving to Houston). While there will likely be some changes coming to this winery (Brad and Angelina are selling it, apparently), you can still buy a bottle and celebrate their good times together. Or at least match this with any layer of that turducken. Outstanding. 90-92 Points.
N.V. Mumm Napa Brut Rosé: Retail $24. 80% Pinot Noir, 20% Chardonnay. If I could only open one bottle of wine at Thanksgiving (but I can’t ever see that happening), it would be a bottle of bubbles. Honestly, sparkling wine is really the choice for all the competing flavors on the table. This one has bright acidity, plenty of body (thank you Pinot Noir!), and all those bubbles. And you could always try to saber it with a turkey leg (that was a joke: seriously, don’t try that). Outstanding. 90-92 Points.
2015 Nik Weis Selections Urban Riesling: Retail $15. For some reason, people don’t think “Riesling” when Thanksgiving rolls around, but rarely do people think “restraint” either, so baby steps. If you are looking for another white, look no further. Great acidity and just a touch of sweetness, this wine is ready to tackle just about anything on the table. Except the cranberry sauce from the can—keep that away from me. Very Good. 87-89 Points.