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Happy Thanksgiving from Vinography

thanksgiving_table.jpgTo my fellow American readers, and anyone else celebrating, Happy Thanksgiving. We all have much to be thankful for if we are lucky enough to be celebrating this holiday with good food, good wine, and those that we love, especially in a world where so many go without all of these.

I've refrained from my usual Thanksgiving rant about the endless stream of "Thanksgiving Wine Pairing" articles which I think do a bit of a disservice to the concerned dinner hosts out there looking for help with what to serve their guests.

If for some reason you have arrived here searching for answers on what to serve your guests this evening, please do yourself a favor and follow this simple advice. Choose a wine YOU want to drink, and then have some big red wine around, which will tend to satisfy anyone who isn't particularly discerning when it comes to wine but wants to drink some. You sip the one you like, and by all means share, and for those who just want "something red" you offer them that big Cab or Pinot. But most importantly, relax and don't worry about finding some wine that goes with the food. If you're like most Americans there's going to be so many different dishes on the table that the concept of finding a wine that "matches" the meal is as ridiculous as getting your entire extended family to unanimously agree on... well, anything.

I am having an intimate and low key Thanksgiving dinner with my in-laws. We drove down to LA and are cooking our fail-proof roast chicken recipe for the small group, and my mother-in-law is probably going to make a Shanghainese dish or two. I threw a bunch of wines into a cardboard box before I came down, and will open a few of the following with dinner:

NV Tixier Premier Cru Brut Rosé Champagne, France

2006 Domaine Leon Boesch "Clos Zwingel" Pinot Gris, Alsace, France
2004 Domaine Galliard "Le Secret Ivre" Vin de Pays de Collines Rhodaniennes White Blend, Rhone Valley, France
2006 Stoan Gewurztraminer, Alto Adige, Italy
NV Baumard "Cuvee Ancienne" Coteaux du Layon (Chenin Blanc), Loire Valley, France

2002 Anne Amie Hawks View Vineyard Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley, Oregon
2001 Marcel Deiss Burlenberg (Pinot Noir), Alsace, France
2005 Sadie Family Vineyards "Sequillo" Rhone Blend, Swartland, South Africa
2001 Farella "Alta" Bordeaux Blend, Napa
2006 Starke Conde "Three Pines" Syrah, Jonkershoek Valley, South Africa
2004 Patton Valley Vineyard Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley, Oregon

I hope you have a great dinner if you're having one, and that you're drinking something you enjoy.

Comments (3)

Tom Powers wrote:
11.26.10 at 7:38 AM

Thanks for a great year of reading. You always deliver such pithy information. I will be heading west in January to do film some episodes. I would love to discuss filming you for the show. You may see what we are doing on the website listed above.

Thanks again for the sparkling prose.

Warmest Regards, tlp

Mike V wrote:
11.28.10 at 9:12 AM

Heading to Santa Ynez. Any recommendations on which vineyards to visit?

Mark wrote:
11.28.10 at 11:08 AM

Hey Mike-Are you stopping in Los Olivos? Our favorites there are Stolpman, Blair Fox, Demetria and Beckmen (ask about their winemakers personal label Kaena)

Alder-best wishes for a happy Thanksgiving and a wonderful conclusion to your trip!

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Required Reading for Wine Lovers

The Oxford Companion to Wine by Jancis Robinson The Taste of Wine by Emile Peynaud Adventures on the Wine Route by Kermit Lynch Love By the Glass by Dorothy Gaiter & John Brecher Noble Rot by William Echikson The Science of Wine by Jamie Goode The Judgement of Paris by George Taber The Wine Bible by Karen MacNeil The Botanist and the Vintner by Christy Campbell The Emperor of Wine by Elin McCoy The World Atlas of Wine by Hugh Johnson The World's Greatest Wine Estates by Robert M. Parker, Jr.