Holiday wine lists really are meant to please
Like the swallows returning to San Juan Capistrano, Thanksgiving brings the return of the annual (anticipated/dreaded) holiday wine suggestions.
And just as there must be someone somewhere who dreads the swallows’ arrival, there are some who roll their eyes and look away when reading wine writer’s personal suggestions for what you should be drinking during the holidays.
A more entertaining duet of conflicting opinions would be hard to find outside of New York Times writer Eric Asimov, a fan of such lists, and blogger Cory Cartwright of Saignee, who feels, well, you can read how he feels here.
I tend to agree mostly with Asimov, that holiday wine lists are mostly well-received by consumers looking for something different and simply a suggestion they might not have considered.
I also think Cartwright has some excellent points to make, particularly his comment “Thanksgiving dinner changes enough from year to year to require us all to sit down and put serious thought into what we’re going to drink.”
Of course, for many people Thanksgiving is a rehash (or maybe that’s what happens with leftovers the next day) of last year’s dinner, which was a rerun of the previous year, which was a rerun of even earlier years.
Even so, if you’re sitting at the table staring at the same old bird, or a new bird in the same condition as last year’s, the probability is you might be looking for something different to drink. Especially if last year’s choices weren’t the hit of the party.
So holiday lists can provide ideas, even if the ideas are some you’ve heard before.
Pinot Noir for the red, Riesling for the white? And plenty of affordable ($15 and under) sparkling wine beforehand?
Whew, that list is finished.
But what if Thanksgiving isn’t the same this year? New York Time food writer Florence Fabicrant responds to a reader’s memorable Thanksgiving dinner here and hopefully your’s, too, will be memorable but in a positive way.
What if the dinner features a roast beast, or goose, or ham? Or all three? Ever heard of a turducken?The same old turkey wine might not be the match you want.
So you peruse various writers and see how they handle the wide-ranging flavors, and wide-ranging guests, to find something, anything, that’s going to please at least some of the guests.
And in the end, you head to the cellar or, if you’re like most of us, the liquor store and see what values are available. You purchase a couple of bottles (or a case if it’s affordable) of something red and something white that you know you can drink and head back home, secure in the knowledge that at least one person will be pleased with your holiday selections.
After all, wine is a personal thing, no?