Simplify Wines On Thanksgiving

Posted by | Posted in White's Wines | Posted on 11-13-2012

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As regular readers know, I write a free, twice monthly wine column that’s distributed to newspapers across the country.

All the columns are housed at Palate Press: The Online Wine Magazine.

If you don’t see my column in your local newspaper, please send an email to your paper’s editor and CC me (David – at – My latest column — this year’s obligatory Thanksgiving piece  — went out this morning.

Simplify Wines On Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving strikes fear in just about every host.

Preparing a giant bird is a herculean task. Cooking gravy, stuffing, and cranberry sauce is always more complicated than expected. Then there’s the anxiety of any family gathering — will politics or off-color jokes derail the dinner?

Add wine to the list of things to worry about, and it’s no wonder why so many wonderful at-home chefs dread the holiday.

Keep calm. With wine, at least, there’s no need to stress.

First, buy American. While I typically avoid jingoism, purchasing a foreign wine on Thanksgiving just doesn’t seem right. So when you head to the store, embrace your patriotism and pick up something domestic. And don’t hesitate to buy local. The Pilgrims didn’t import their turkey from a faraway land.

Second, follow the strategy of San Francisco Chronicle wine editor Jon Bonné, who advises his readers to select a roster of three wines — one white, one red, and one sparkling.

Anything beyond three wines creates needless confusion. Thanksgiving already causes enough headaches — the last thing you need is a guest asking which red matches the stuffing or which white goes better with the sweet potatoes. So keep it simple and let guests drink whichever wine they prefer.

You’ll also want to make sure you select wines with power and finesse. This is easier than it sounds.

Check out the rest of the piece on Palate Press: The Online Wine Magazine.

Comments (2)

  1. Ah yes, if only I could convince my family to drink anything besides sweet whites!

  2. We host 20-30 for Thanksgiving, have for the last 4 years. After allowing family to handle bringing wine for the first 2 of those years, I decided to take that chore back and let them bring desserts instead.

    This year I’ll follow the same formula as the last two:

    We have three large dining tables, each holds bottles of Argyle bubbles, a Sancerre of my choosing and Ponzi’s super-value $20 pinot.

    When everyone leaves us facing clean up and dishes, we pop open a Peter Michael cab — great wine to plop down on the couch by the fireplace with after a very long day of hard work.

    Happy Thanksgiving Everyone