Q. Nobody in my house drinks wine. When we go to other people’s homes on Thanksgiving, there’s always wine. This year, the dinner is at my house, and I have no idea what wine to buy or how much. What do you think?
A. I’m glad you asked me what I think, because that leaves me free to tell you. But first, a better answer. Go to a wine shop or the wine department of a good supermarket. The best of the latter are Aquistapace’s, Dorignac’s, Langenstein’s, Whole Food, and Rouse’s bigger stores. Not only do all those have lots of variety, but they have staff that specializes in wine, and they can give you advice that fits your specific needs. Just ask.
Okay, now my thoughts. The most obvious wine choice at Thanksgiving is Beaujolais Nouveau, the first wine from the new (2014) vintage in France. Although it’s a deep red wine, it’s light,fruity, low in alcohol, not bitter, and you can serve it a little bit chilled. Good wine for those who don’t drink wine often. On the other hand, I find it acidic and less than spectacular.
Better wines are in the style of the wines of Alsace. These may be the world’s most food-friendly, going with almost any known dish. Rieslings are the best, and Gewurztraminers are the most versatile. Both are white, low in alcohol, and appealing to any palate. The ones that come from California may be a little sweet, but that works for most palates, too. (The French versions may seem a little sweet, but they’re actually bone-dry.)
So much for you and your friends who aren’t into wine, either. For the real wine-lovers (and surely there will be some), just go ahead and buy something that will make them remember you. Those who hang out with me in my kitchen will, late in the afternoon, find me pulling out the best juice I have. Why not? Thanksgiving food really goes with all wines, red or white. I’m thankful for my friends.