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What to Drink for the Holidays?

by Nannette Eaton on November 21, 2012

“Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” — Leo Tolstoy

Families. Love ‘em or hate ‘em, you can’t fix ‘em or change them, try as you might, it’s futile. Granta, the literary magazine, once devoted a whole edition to the subject: The Family: They Fuck You Up. Which pretty much sums up our opinion on the matter. If you can’t actually avoid the holiday gatherings, we suggest you get good and liquored up to weather the familial emotional storms that are a brewing.

No matter what adult beverage you bring, make sure you bring an ample supply, the Wine Harlots motto is “excess is best.” If you refer to those silly party planning drink guides, make sure you double or triple their temperate suggestions.

And relax about your wine choices, it’s just juice, after all. The diverse array of food at Thanksgiving guarantees that your wine selection will match and clash with half the dishes offered, so just chill about what you’re pouring. Meg Houston Maker of Maker’s Table has a comprehensive guide to Choosing Thanksgiving Wines. But really, lighten up and pour another glass, that’s what we do.

Our go-to is always to start with a glass of sparkling wine. Champagne is always a classic choice, and nothing else conveys celebration like a flute of Champagne. If you are light of coin, don’t fret, there are lot’s of delicious sparkling wines available at a lower price-point. French crémant is under $20 USD, as are most Spanish cava or Italian prosecco or spumanti. The Wine Harlots perennial party favorite is Domaine Ste. Michelle Brut, which costs about $8-12 USD, but tastes like a more expensive quaff.

Sparkling wine can carry all through the meal, especially at Thanksgiving, but we love the sophistication of a dry rosé with turkey and cranberry sauce. For white wine lovers, try a crisp Vouray from the Loire Valley. For fun, crack open a bottle of, Beaujolais Nouveau, a fresh and fruity wine that is released the third Thursday of November to celebrate the harvest. As the unofficial “America’s grape” picking a juicy zinfandel is a thematic choice. Pinot noir is also a great selection, we’ve been loving selections from Anderson Valley and Oregon lately.

What to drink for the holidays? Drink what you love, you’ll never go wrong.

photo credit: EatonAlive ©2012