Friday, November 20, 2009

Craziness and Thanksgiving

For my throngs of loyal fans, I appologize for the spotty blogging this week. It has just been one of those periods where everything in life is going nuts. What do they call that? Oh yeah, life during the holidays! Speaking of, I wanted to address a major problem that many people have this time of year- What wine to drink at the Thanksgiving table.

There are a lot of articles about this very topic flying around right now, and I want to quell information from some of them, and offer some advice. First of all, know that a "typical" Thanksgiving dinner is very difficult to pair wines with. You have white meat poultry, sometimes ham, high acid dishes (cranberry sauce), sweet dishes (yams), buttery dishes (mashed potatoes), peppery dishes (stuffing), etc, etc, etc. My main bit of advice is to consider who you are bringing the wine for. Are you just wanting a wine or two that everyone will enjoy, knowing that you are the only "wine person" at the table? In that case, bring an off-dry riesling, and and some relatively inexpensive california pinot noir. These are normally user-friendly and can be found for less than $20/bottle. This will also help you cover Aunt Betty that only drinks white zin. Remember, when you are in a room full of non-wine people, they really don't care if the wine scored 97 points, was #27 on some "Top 100" list, or comes from a 1/2 acre vineyard from Chassagne Montrachet. Drink accordingly.

Are there going to be some wine fans at the table that know what they are talking about, but are still pretty relaxed about it? Once again, defer to some riesling (try Monchhof or Richter), and maybe some Cali Chard or Burgundy if you can swing it- there are good prices all around right now, especially for '04 and '05s. You can then throw a bottle of syrah in there for those that like the bigger stuff.

Are you friends with wine geeks that really care? Then go nuts- pair Gruner with the veggies (Try Huber "Hugo), a dry rose with some of the cranberries (I like Crios, or Gruet if you want bubbly), riesling with the yams, White Burgundy with the mashed potatoes (check out some of the lesser releases from Domaine LeFlaive), a Red burgundy or Oregon Pinot with the turkey, and some Rhone (Les Aphillanthes, or Guigal) with everything else.

Finish off the meal with egg nog with a good dose of bourbon or spiced rum, and you are guaranteed to sleep right through the Dallas and Detroit games.

Most importantly, remember that this really is a time to give thanks for all the blessings in your life- whether that be your family, friends, God, job, or just pretty leaves on the trees.

Cheers y'all, have a great weekend!

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