If you’re a wino like me, you’ve been inundated with articles about what to drink with Thanksgiving Dinner. And while it’s mildly important to have a good bottle of Pinot Noir with whatever overcooked vegetable your aunt’s girlfriend brought, I find it way more interesting to have a wine for those wildly uncomfortable, highly typical family dynamics we face year after year. So here are a list of wines that pair well with my family dynamics. I hope they work for yours, as well.
Side Dish Prep-
So it’s Thanksgiving morning, you’re at home in your pj’s and you’re trying to figure out that side dish you were asked to bring. For this scenario, I recommend the La Salada ‘Tinct Set’ Ancestral. Ancestral the Spanish term for ‘half the sparkle, all the ambition.’ But don’t look that up. Toni Carbo from Mas Candí and his wife, Anna created the La Salada label for wines grown on generations of his family’s all organic soils in the Penedès. The Tinct Set is bright, light-hearted and fruity. In fact, it’s probably the most light-hearted fun you’ll have all day. Plus that low ABV means you can drink half a bottle while prepping your side dish and the other half while taking a shower. Grandma won’t have a clue.
The Family Greeting-
The day is young, the family still loves each other and no one is gossiping about how much you’ve eaten off the cheese plate. Bonus round- no one knows about that first bottle you took down at home! So let’s pop a some cava and cheers to yet another Happy Thanksgiving! This year, impress the entire family with Los Bermejos sparkling Rosado from Lanzarote in the Canary Islands. It’s exotic and volcanic, zippy and fruity with just the right touch of texture and creaminess to keep your dad from announcing it’s not actually Champagne. Thank you, Canary Islands.
When the Family Asks if You Have a Boyfriend-
“Ya, I’m still single, Grandma, no I don’t have any kids, yes I know how old I am.” This excruciating line of questioning means it’s time to grab a bottle DaTerra Viticultures ‘Erea de Vila,’ snatch that entire bowl of Grandma Jewell’s crab dip and head to the TV to watch basketball for a while. The Erea de Vila is comprised of mostly old vine Godello from the hills of Ribeira Sacra. It’s got texture, minerals, fruit and herbs. It’s begging for salty chips and dip, that cream cheese salami thing my mom makes and hot men in basketball shorts. (RIP, Grandma Jewell.)
When Aunt Mary Starts to Get Drunk-
Finally, let’s get this party started. Aunt Mary is getting tipsy, she’s stepped outside for her first cigarette and it’s time to switch to red. Borja Perez Ignios Orígenes ‘Vijariego Negro’ is what you’ve been waiting for all morning. It’s the kind of wine you want to sit in the corner and talk dirty to, the kind of wine you want to share with Aunt Mary so she’ll tell you colorful stories of driving AC Transit through East Oakland 30 years ago. It’s fruity, giving and full of tamarind deliciousness without asking anything in return. It goes down so easy you’ll be tempted to drink the whole bottle right there. Save some for dinner, though, this wine may pair perfectly with Grandma Finley’s candied yams. (RIP, Aunt Mary.)
Ok, the jig is up, I really dislike Thanksgiving dinner. It’s so brown and gravied and mashed and cooked. All I can do is pray to the gods someone made a kale salad, or that someone hands me a tortilla so I can eek out a turkey taco. But whatever sort of bread crumbly thing I’m forced to endure, I’m keeping a bottle of 2016 Fazenda Prádio MRZ by my side and dreaming of pulpo and the Miño river hot springs. This candied fruit, graphite and slightly peppered little number has the power to make me ignore the fact that I hate mashed potatoes and that my little brother just stole all of the dark meat. I only say 2016 because I worked the harvest that year, this wine is fly in any vintage. Pro tip: keep your glass full of this Merenzao so when Grandpa Doug busts out the Silver Oak you are covered. (RIP, Grandpa Doug.)
This blog is dedicated to my whole family. To the ones who have passed, to the ones who can’t be here and to the ones who are braving the storm.
Blogged At: My Condo, East Oakland