I'm cooking a harvest-themed feast for a few friends this year and couldn't be more thankful to avoid the madness of travel including, but not limited to: airport delays; someone else's Aunt Tilda and her generous supply of lipstick and perfume; and the screaming baby in the seat across the aisle. I'm not a Bah Humbug for Christmas, but I've lived through too many challenging Thanksgiving trips to want to head elsewhere for the otherwise great event. An entertaining parade that inspires nostalgia, football (no matter how bizarre the match-up), a feast chock full of friends and good humor and a great bottle of wine (or two or three) are all the ingredients I need for a lovely day of giving thanks. If you haven't made it to your wine shop to select a bottle of wine this year, today might be a good day to drop by. It will only get trickier to navigate the aisles as mid-week approaches. And if you don't already have a favorite Pinot Gris, Riesling, Beaujolais Villages, or Pinot Noir picked out, remember to consult your shop's wine buyer. There are some fun things on the market this year you won't want to miss. (Two that come to mind are the Michlits Frizzante Pinot Noir (the winemaker made it for her wedding a few years ago and it was so amazing, her importer asked her to make it a regular in her repertoir) or the Clos de Rochers Pinot Gris, a very cool, slightly sweet Pinot Gris from Luxembourg - you don't see that everyday!) No doubt having a little one-on-one help will certainly ease your pre-holiday stress.
But even if you wait to the last minute or the wine managers on duty are helping other customers, for heaven's sake, don't panic! There is too much parking lot drama at every grocery store and fine wines shop this time of year, you don't need to add a little something I like to call "Bottle Stress" to your life. Even if you are meeting your boy/girlfriend's family for the first time, here are two stress-reducing strategies for Thanksgiving Wine-Selecting Success:
Option A: Simply stick to one of the classic Turkey varietals I listed above. You'll be A-OK on optimal food pairings.
Option B: If those varietals aren't your bag, select a bottle or grape YOU like; it's probably just the balm you need! (Eric Asimov and his eno-friends recently reiterated the point beautifully (and comically) at The Pour....)
For those of you ahead of the rest, won't you help your friends with a little insight? What do you plan to pour this Thanksgiving?