Hey fellow lushes! Are you feeling a little bit sick because you've been given the task of bringing wine to the bosses' or your in-laws' house for Turkey Day? Don't sweat it! The Wino's got you covered like mini marshmallows on a sweet potato casserole.
Ilustration by Andrew Saeger, tHE ARTdept.
First thing you've gotta know about this liquid countdown of my Top 5 Thanksgiving wines is that we're not going to cheap out this week. After all, this holiday is all about wretched excess -- oh, I mean, being thankful about a table heaped with food -- so buck up and spend a little extra. At least on the first bottle. After that, you can hit the boxed wine. (My fave box wine pick is on this roundup, too.)
Just remember, there's really no such thing as a perfect match for this meal and its assortment of wild and wacky sides. So, drink what you like and show up with a bottle each of red and white and you'll be greeted like a hero. So, let's count 'em down!
First of all, The Wino can't stop giggling about the image of a Badger sharing the spotlight with a turkey on Thanksgiving. It's like an episode of the Beverly Hillbillies. But seriously folks, this is probably the best damn organic wine in a box on the planet! It's three liters of hell yum, made from a blend of Riesling, Semillon, Chenin blanc and Mueller Thurgau.
That sounds like a fruit punch, but this mash up has got enough of tartness to keep it interesting. It does go down easy, so it's not hard to lose track of how many glasses you've had because... you know, it's in a box, so The Wino's issuing a lampshade/party lush alert on this one.
No. 4: Sanford Pinot noir
Did you ever see "Sideways"? The kinda cult movie in which the protagonist hates on Merlot and raves about the complexity of Pinot? This is just the type of Pinot that Miles would have loved. But that's not going to stop me from drinking it.
This velvety varietal is a big-time Thanksgiving thumbs up pick among cork dorks, who can talk about the way it marries with the robust flavors of the big bird until the cows come home. The Wino just digs the way it tastes.
I love this particular Pinot -- made with grapes grown near Santa Barbara -- because it reminds me of sitting in the shade on a hot summer day and eating myself sick on Bing cherries. It's also got a really pretty label that's gonna look nice on your fancy Thanksgiving table.
No. 3: DeLille Cellars Chaleur Estate blanc
This wine is like a classic chick flick, where two grapes meet, they fall in love and marry. They're good on their own, but so much better together. Oh, Sauvignon blanc, you complete me. No, Semillon, I wouldn't be as cool without you.
Why don't we turn this into a party and invite Tom Turkey?
No. 2: Rulo Syrah
This is a red so red, it's almost black. The flavors are anything but dark, though. You might take a sip and think: blackberries or plums or cherries? It's all in there, backed up by a little spice and a whole lot of heart. (This is made by a uber-classy Mom-and-Pop winery in Walla Walla and I love everything they put in a twist-top bottle.)
No. 1: Northstar Merlot
This is what The Wino's going to be pouring next Thursday, a stellar red that's my go-to special occasion bottle. It's got great fruit that goes on and on like that last note played in that Beatles song on Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. A Day In The Life.
There's also some spice notes that will warm your tongue and make that turkey taste like filet mignon. Yeah, I'm just yanking your drumstick.
What I really love about this wine is that it doesn't overshadow the food. It knows its place and that's on the Thanksgiving table, within arm's reach of The Wino.
Happy eating/drinking everybody!