There is Still Time!

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, 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.]

vignes-bila-haut-rge2015 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.mezzacorona_pinot-grigio075_stelvin_2015_doc-copia2

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.

cecchi-cc2014 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.

gf-pn2014 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.

7-zins-v6532014 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.

img_69802015 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.

Mumm_BrutResRose-LG_df58N.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 urbancompeting 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. 



About the drunken cyclist

I have been an occasional cycling tour guide in Europe for the past 20 years, visiting most of the wine regions of France. Through this "job" I developed a love for wine and the stories that often accompany the pulling of a cork. I live in Houston with my lovely wife and two wonderful sons.
This entry was posted in Carignan, Chardonnay, Cinsault/Cinsaut, Grenache, Grenache Blanc, Pinot Grigio, Pinot Noir, Riesling, Rolle, Sangiovese, Wine, Zinfandel. Bookmark the permalink.

15 Responses to There is Still Time!

  1. As you know, I have plenty of wine on hand. But yet I still run out an hour or two before dinner to get some. #shocker #completelydisorganized

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Thanksgiving is probably the only time I drink Zin. Not that I dislike it, but the pairing w turkey is so perfect that I don’t think of it at other times.

    And totally agree on the Rose. Really hoping there was some kind of prenup where estate goes to the winemaker in the event of a Brangelina decoupling.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I have been coming around to Zin recently. You should try Gary Farrell’s Maffei Vineyard Zin. Holy crap. On another note, an acquaintance asked me whether investing in Miraval was a good idea. Needless to say, we are working to make her more than just an acquaintance.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. “…absolutely no wine in the house…” I literally shuddered when I read that. Literally! Are there really people out there who live like that?
    Great recommendations, Jeff! I hope you and your family have a fantastic Thanksgiving.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Duff's Wines says:

    Ouch. I would indeed like to get you ‘started’ to understand what we Canadians have done. I personally take no responsibility in whatever the slight/faux pas, might be BTW. Have a great TG. Go Lions.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Growing up in Detroit, I had plenty of run-ins with Canadians. That continued when I was leading bike tours in Europe. They spent an inordinate amount of time delineating how they were smugly better than Americans. Yet 90% of all Canadians live within 50 miles of the border and have adopted many, many American customs and traditions.

      But it is all in good fun on my end!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Duff's Wines says:

        We can tend to be a bit insecure about how we measure up against the successful neighbour that lives below us. Plus, just like any nationality, we can be loudly proud of what we believe are our differences regardless of how minor. I grew up very near to Windsor and spent an inordinate amount of time in Detroit when it rocked (60’s, 70’s). Very sad to see the fall from prominence. Let’s hope that the current renaissance continues for that once great city. It’s why the Lions continue to be my team.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I like to have a bit of fun with our neighbors to the north. Truth be told, we could certainly learn a lot from you!


  5. I will keep an eye out for that Mezzacorona. I’ve turned into a huge Pinot Grigio fan as of late, thanks for the suggestions! Happy Thanksgiving Jeff to you and your family!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. aFrankAngle says:

    Riesling and Pinot Noirs for us on Thursday. Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family.

    PS: You will like this.

    Liked by 1 person

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