Hard to believe it's been a year since the last time I looked at wines for the Most Gluttonous Time Of The Year. Lots of calories under the bridge since then. We're again faced with the same dilemma -- big table, many family members with various issues, wildly varied foods, and a need for wines to please everyone.
Actually, there are a number of wines that would work just fine with almost any table. Since thinking basic is a good idea, there's a lot of decent product that will work. A few possibilities follow. And, like last year, if you find yourself cooking -- I still recommend a flask of Maker's Mark stashed inconspicuously behind the potato masher.
Paringa 2004 Sparkling
Covey Run 2005 Gewürztraminer -- What can I say, I'm still a sucker for wines with umlauts. While Riesling is probably more flexible, if you've got a group that wants something a little different or if you're with a group that doesn't know better, bust out a Gewürz. It'll be fun for people to try to pronounce after a couple of glasses, at the very least. This offering from
Louis Jadot 2006 Beaujolais-Villages -- A quick side note here. I wanted to do a
Gnarly Head 2005 Old Vine Zinfandel -- "Come on, Mike," a friend of mine said, "You do these wines for big groups and parties, and you do things that will appeal to the middle of the road. But Thanksgiving is a big ass meal, so you need a big ass wine. What would you do?" With a gauntlet like that thrown down, you need a red wine where people will know that they're drinking A Red Wine. Still, you have to have appeal for lots of folks, and it does have to go with what you're serving. One wine raises its hand -- Zinfandel. Specifically, big, cranking California Zin. The Gnarly Head fills the bill perfectly. The very definition of a "fruit bomb," this wine announces its presence with authority. Lots of big plummy scents lead you to a huge fruity body. There's a little tannin and a little oak in there somewhere, and you catch hints of it on the finish -- but it's largely a big wine that would pair with big flavors. Most Thanksgiving tables would be perfect. At close to 15% alcohol, it'll liven up any party. $10.
Enjoy the gorging, enjoy the wine, enjoy the football, and celebrate the family. Whether tied by blood or by love, they're what makes us us. Raise a glass.