I was blessed with three things this Thanksgiving: inspiration, hope and pure delight. Since wine happened to be the catalyst for all three (and I feel like all we hear about is bad news these days), I can't help but pick up my blog after the holiday weekend and share some positive goodness. Inspiration. I've never had so much fun interacting with wine customers than last Wednesday night at the shop. People were looking for nice bottles of vino to accompany their meal, serve as delicious liquid 'balm' for potentially awkward family moments, or otherwise thank their host for their hospitality. People were simply in good spirits, looking forward to a few days off and satisfied bellies. Their bottle of vino was something they not only wanted to complete their meal, but to say something more, too.

Hope. People weren't panicking. Some were looking to spend less per bottle so they could buy more than one more easily, but I couldn't help but notice I was helping customers select more expensive bottles of wine for the occasion. (There is so much good juice at various price points I had anticipated helping folks find the perfect bottle anywhere from $10 to $100 - not more consistently in the $20-$35 range, which I did often.)

Delight. As I dressed my table, roasted my bird and prepared the delicious trimmings, it was lovely to open the bottles of wine I finally selected for the occasion (after much deliberation - after all, I am a Virgo with sometimes too much wine knowledge for my own good!). They were exactly what I hoped would delight my taste buds and guests.

Our pre-bird snacks were accompanied by an old favorite of mine (though the latest vintage which I had not yet enjoyed), the 2007 Guidobono Barbera d'Alba. I call it my fireplace wine; it is so approachable and versatile I can enjoy it with a variety of foods - or simply stick my feet up in front of the fire and sip. The 2007 is perhaps less complex in flavor than 2006, but it is no less satisfying. It was perfect for me to sip on as I put the final touches on the meal, enjoyed my guests and snacked.

Our main meal featured the 2006 Hillinger Small Hill Red, a truly fabulous, character-driven, soft and supple Pinot Noir/Merlot blend from Austria. In case I haven't mentioned this wine here before, I will say it now: to me this wine is like the big, holiday bonus you didn't know you were getting (it shows you the respect you deserve, but does so with unprecedented sophistication and grace). A lovely knock-out!

All of these things were enough to put me in the holiday spirit. This week I'll be getting out my decorations and thinking about wines to delight us all as Santa slides down the chimney in but 25 days time!

How was your Thanksgiving? What wine(s) did you select for the occasion?