To me, Thanksgiving is all about spending time away from work and with my family. Rather than going all out with a Turkey Day feast for 25, my husband, son, and I prefer to spend the holiday vegging in front of a constant stream of football and dining on an enormous meal for three, complete with all the traditional fixings. Aside from recreating my mother’s handwritten recipes, my all-time favorite part of the holiday is washing down that first bite of shellacked, crispy turkey skin (OK fine, and turkey meat, too) with a big sip of vino. The next best thing is tracking down thoughtfully made grapes that can stand up to all the delicious fare on the T-Day table.
A few of my favorites from the shelves at Central Bottle Wine + Provisions:
Gaspare Buscemi Vin'Oro (blend of sauvignon blanc, pinot grigio, and ribolla gialla) 2012, Friuli, Italy
Simply delicious. This wine has all the acidity, fruit, friendliness, and balance you need for the holiday’s cheese board, salty turkey, lush and fatty gravy, carb-laden stuffing, and green bean casserole. It will please all palates at the dinner table and taste great with everything.
Farmers Jane Field White (grenache blanc, marsanne, and roussanne) 2012, Santa Barbara County, Calif.
An American wine fit for an American holiday. I like this because it's a collaborative effort between two winemakers from different wineries who get together and make this cuvée each year. They call themselves "Farmers Jane" and make a pretty impressive, lush, round, and very, very satisfying wine to match the rich dishes at the turkey table. Lots of acidity allows guests to keep eating, but the roundness can't be beat with all that stuffing and gravy.
Fuore Strada Sangiovese 2010 Tuscany, Italy
These guys come in 1-liter Tetra Paks and I think they are the bomb. The fruit is all organic, Tuscan sangiovese that is meant to be light, young, and delicious. It is just that — tasty and perfectly textured with just the right amount of fruit, just enough earth, and enough interest for lots and lots of Thanksgiving drinking.
Bruna Rossese 2012, Liguria, Italy
This wine is light red, made with slightly unripe red fruit, making it juicy and light to mid-weight with some great minerality. It's delicious, tastes great with vegetables, and can totally handle hearty turkey with gravy and sausage stuffing. The juicy/acid combination fights all sorts of fats.
Folk Machine Pinot Noir 2012, Central Coast, Calif.
This is the classic pairing for Thanksgiving and well, it works. In the past I haven’t always recommended California pinot noir because it's usually totally out of whack — too big, too alcoholic, too much. But Kenny Likitprakong of Hobo Wine Co. has come out with a second label called Folk Machine and the wines are honest, delicious, simple, and well balanced. The price is right for California, too.