My post today over at the Houston Press.
Yes, folks, it’s that predictable time of year when everyone posts their Thanksgiving wine recommendations. Among the literally hundreds of blogs and feeds that I follow, one of my favorites this year was Eric Asimov’s [Eric the Red’s] “What Can I Drink at Thanksgiving Besides Wine?” There are a gazillion interesting posts out there: Just search for Thanksgiving wine (not in quotes) in Google Blog Search and you’ll find a trésor of inspired suggestions.
One of the common themes is the challenge that the Thanksgiving meal poses for the would-be sommelier: With so many dishes, with such a wide variety of ingredients, aromas, and flavors, and with so many cooks in the kitchen, what one wine can you recommend?
But there’s another relevant (and in my view, equally important) question we should ask: With such a heterogenous group of people gathered for the all-American holiday, what wine will pair well with both the food and the guests?
My brothers (one in his fifties, the other in his forties) are both high-powered attorneys, and they like highly alcoholic Zinfandel and oaky, tannic Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon. My mother [Mamma Judy], who remains forever young in my heart, likes wines that are lighter in body, with gentler alcohol and tannin. The extreme concentration (or extraction, as we call it in wine parlance) of a classic “Zin” or “Napa Cab” would not only overwhelm mom’s palate, it would also overpower her digestion, especially on a day when we all tend to overindulge.
The following 10 wines are available in the Houston market. They are not samples sent to me by a publicist or distributor. They are wines that my wife Tracie P and I drink and serve in our home. They are wines that we can afford, and they are wines that we share with people we love. Happy Thanksgiving, y’all!