As you might expect, my coworkers and I take Thanksgiving very seriously. We work with an amazing selection of wine and spirits, not to mention delicious food each and every day. We get the proverbial “Well, what do you like to drink?” not just from our customers but our families too, so when it comes to our own holiday with family and friends, we can’t disappoint them. This year, our in-store feature is what our staff will be drinking for the holidays. And trust me, these selections won’t disappoint ’cause we also like to show off our stuff.
My holiday requirements are 1) that the wines are affordable enough to share and 2) approachable. My family doesn’t sit around discussing nuances of terroir, so if they say, “Hey, this is pretty good… can I have a some more?” I consider my work done. I certainly have my classic go-to wines that I like to serve for Thanksgiving, such as a classic domestic sparkling like Roederer Alexander Valley Estate Brut to perk up the taste buds and a light, fruity Pinot Noir that won’t overpower any one dish like the bottling from Poppy. This year, I’ve decided that I’m also going to mix it up by offering a couple of unexpected choices that over deliver for quality, price, and deliciousness.
This wine recently got the nod as my go-to red after I had consumed a single bottle. The 2009 Weingut Glatzer Blaufränkisch was so delicious I could not stop pouring it. If I had bothered to write a tasting note while guzzling, it may have read: hot dammmmmmmn. Upon further tasting and review (tough, I know), the wine is warm and spicy. It’s silky smooth enough to have almost a mellow quality. With notes of rosemary, currant, and blueberry, it’s like a pretty little autumnal punch. For the life of me, I can’t figure out why this wine isn’t snatched up in droves upon release. Is it the umlaut? Please, don’t be scared off by the umlaut! This wine has a lot of nuance, more than enough to keep you interested, but in a very drinkable way. This wine is going to pair delightfully well with an herb-roasted turkey. Let’s just say I won’t be surprised if by the end of the bottle you are raising your glass and giving thanks for Herr Glatzer.
I tend to adhere to the principle that no great meal is complete without something complete at the finish. Instead of just relying on pie, I urge you to consider also serving a dessert wine. Dessert wines are incredibly under consumed and underappreciated. I enjoy them, and even so, I only drink them a few times a year — the holidays are a perfect time to take advantage of the indulgence. The Bacalhôa Moscatel de Setúbal will make you a lover too. This is a gorgeous, complex Portuguese dessert wine. Intensely perfumed with orange and ginger, it’s as if someone has dissolved a piece of candied ginger right in the glass. The palate is full bodied with apricot, raisin, and caramelized sugar. It tastes decidedly fancy, even served next to an old-fashioned pie: pecan, pumpkin, or apple.
In between all the food and wine, I make time to be thankful for all the things I love — family, friends, and the opportunity to share my favorite things with them. Cheers!
— Lindsey Coleman
Love libations? Need a little holiday inspiration? Follow my tweets @surdyksliquor for all things festive and boozy.