Wines Of The Week: American Treats For Thanksgiving
Along with what is the meaning of life and what’s the nature of time at the center of a black hole, the question of which wines to drink on Thanksgiving is one of the most vexing. Theories abound, of course, though they rarely account for differences in how each family chooses to approach the traditional feast. How tart are your cranberries? What do you season your turkey with, and how do you cook it? Do you add marshmallows to your sweet potatoes or allow their natural sugars to do most of the talking? Each of these issues and more will determine what will work best with your dinner tomorrow evening.
Which is why, over the years, I’ve given up on focusing on perfect pairings—though Beaujolais Cru, Champagne, and Riesling all tend to work well with the full range of ingredients typical of the holiday—and instead have determined that this is an occasion for drinking whatever you want. It’s a day that celebrates all that we should be thankful for, and the abundance of the autumn season, and the closeness of family and friends. If that’s not cause to pop corks with abandon, then I don’t know what is.
Still, given that this is arguably the most American of holidays, I wanted to focus on domestic selections for my Wines of the Week today.
Depending on how big a crowd will be at dinner, or, let’s be honest, the family dynamics at play, you may need a wine with a bit more power. Still, balance is key, as is its ability to pair with the heartier dishes on the table. For that, my red Wine of the Week should work particularly well: The Viader Proprietary Red 2015 (SRP: $175), an exuberant wine crafted from Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc in the Napa Valley. It boasts 15.1% alcohol by volume and complex notes of black licorice, cassis, dark chocolate, coffee beans, grilled sage, and a hint of violets. Sweet tannins frame it all, and carry through to the black-cherry liqueur finish.