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No Thanksgiving Wine Tips Here

Just in case you haven't figured it out yet, you won't be getting any list of great holiday gifts for the wine lover in your life from me. Vinography also won't be listing the best holiday buys for wine. And you definitely won't be getting a list of great wine pairing ideas for Thanksgiving. It's not that I'm not interested in dispensing advice, or helping anyone out (if you're really desperate for some wine recommendations send me an e-mail) but its just that there are too many damn lists out there.

I've ranted on more than one occasion about the uselessness of top five, top fifty, top ninety nine lists, especially coming from strangers. More and more these days, everything seems to be getting reduced to a list, as if that's the most digestible form of advice or commentary in this country. After a steady diet of television with formulaic plot lines and weekends filled with regularly scheduled sales at our favorite shopping locations, presumably all we have time to digest is a few bullet points? Magazines in particular are guilty of this phenomenon.

So I refuse to play. My wine advice for you this Thanksgiving, the holiday with so many flavors that it's difficult to find a wine to match anyway? Drink wine. Lots of it. And remember the stuff that tastes better than the rest, so you'll be all set for next year.

Comments (9)

Terry Hughes wrote:
11.23.05 at 9:42 AM

Paradoxically, you've given a
list that contains the best
advice of all. Grab a bottle
and enjoy!

You're right about all the damned
lists, by the way.

Brian Mast wrote:
11.23.05 at 11:05 AM

Bah humbug. I agree that lists have their downsides and never leave room for interesting players, but I would think of a list coming from a blogger is like getting a mix tape from a friend -- hearing about some interesting wines that I wouldn't have thought of before.

Geoff Smith wrote:
11.23.05 at 1:44 PM


You have it all wrong. Lists, especially lists properly made, are the funniest things conceivable. I remember studying Joyce at UC Santa Cruz from the great "Joe" Cesar Barber---and one of my best papers was on Joyce's "Comedy of Inventory" (esp. as found in Ulysses). If I can dig up an example for you, I'll send you one.

Happy Thanksgiving,


Bradley wrote:
11.24.05 at 8:06 AM

I'm with you on the lists, Alder. I'm a little annoyed with people who demand this kind of guidance twice a year and about 24 hours before they're supposed to entertain. Talk about an easy out.
Happy Thanksgiving, Yanks! (We do ours in early October)

Aidan Maconachy wrote:
11.26.05 at 12:06 PM

Not all lists are equally mundane. There is a World Wine List compiled by Robert Kostelac that is quite extensive, almost encyclopaedic. I find it quite interesting. I agree that the hastily thrown together seasonal lists are usually a waste of time.

Alder wrote:
11.27.05 at 4:09 PM

Waiting with bated breath, Geoff. Your sense of humor has already proven sharp...

Alder wrote:
11.27.05 at 4:12 PM


Sorry to disappoint :-)

Geoff Smith wrote:
11.28.05 at 4:44 PM

Hi Alder,

Okay here's a bit of Joyce from Ulysses. A brilliant list!

"The fashionable international world attended EN MASSE this afternoon at the wedding of the chevalier Jean Wyse de Neaulan, grand high chief ranger of the Irish National Foresters, with Miss Fir Conifer of Pine Valley, Lady Sylvester Elmshade, Mrs Barbara Lovebirch, Mrs Poll Ash, Mrs Holly Hazeleyes, Miss Daphne Bays, Miss Dorothy Canebrake, Mrs Clyde Twelvetrees, Mrs Rowan Greene, Mrs Helen Vinegadding, Miss Virginia Creeper, Miss Gladys Beech, Miss Olive Garth, Miss Blanche Maple, Mrs Maud Mahogany, Miss Myra Myrtle, Miss Priscilla Elderflower, Miss Bee Honeysuckle, Miss Grace Poplar, Miss O Mimosa San, Miss Rachel Cedarfrond, the Misses Lillian and Viola Lilac, Miss Timidity Aspenall, Mrs Kitty Dewey-Mosse, Miss May Hawthorne, Mrs Gloriana Palme, Mrs Liana Forrest, Mrs Arabella Blackwood and Mrs Norma Holyoake of Oakholme Regis graced the ceremony by their presence."

Alder wrote:
11.28.05 at 10:27 PM


You are right, I was too broad in my condemnation of lists. I should qualify my statement to slander only lists proffered by experts of recommended things to buy or own or see or read. Your excellent Joyce example made me recall a Modern Major General who had an excellent list of things he enjoyed.

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