Since there’s no possible way you can select one bottle of wine to satisfy everyone’s taste-buds,so I recommend we split it up! The one theme I do suggest you stick to is, whichever wine you choose, make sure it’s from the U.S. (Beaujolais being the exception). It’s an American holiday after all!
Californian white blends are usually a big hit, especially ones with a hint of sweetness to satisfy the Riesling drinkers, but also keep from alienating the Sauvignon Blanc, and Pinot Grigio fans. There’s a huge amount of white blends coming out of California at the moment, and you shouldn’t need to go over $20 to find something decent!
I also recommend you pickup a bottle of something a little-bit heavier to keep the Chard drinkers happy. Napa / Sonoma Chardonnay should do the trick!
Whether it be from Santa Barbara, Monterey, Sonoma, or a little further North in Oregon, Pinot Noir should serve as a perfect pairing with Turkey with Cranberry Sauce.
If you’re looking for something a little heavier, my suggestion would be a red blend, whether you want to go with a Meritage [Mare-eh-tidge] from Napa/Sonoma, or a Syrah/Cabernet dominated from Washington State. In the same respect as the white blend, a blended Cali red should serve to keep the majority of drinkers happy!
Sweet / Sparkling
If you’re looking for something sweeter, I don’t think you can ever go wrong with Moscato as a dessert-style wine. The bonus behind Moscato right-now is that with it being such a “hot grape”, wine brands are rushing to get theirs to market. The only downside is that the quality of Californian Moscato is sometimes questionable.
On the pure sparkling-side of things, I’ve always been a fan of Brut Rose Sparkling Champagne (I proposed to my wife over a bottle of Laurent Perrier Rose Champagne). It doesn’t necessarily have to be true Champagne, Californian Brut Rose Sparkling will be just fine (I like J Brut Rose)!
Quantity of Wine Needed
Everyone pours different, but personally I usually get 5 glasses out of a bottle (which I would say is about average), so base your buying off that. The worse case scenario is that you’ll buy too much, and have some bottles leftover (which is never a bad thing)!
If you’re opting to pickup a bottle of Beaujolais, instead of throwing the Beaujolais Nouveau (released on the third Thursday in November) into your shopping basket, opt for Cru Beaujolais! Wines from these 10 defined regions are often overlooked by consumers as they normally don’t bear the term “Beaujolais” on the front label. The quality of Cru Beaujolais is usually considerably higher than Nouveau, and only a few $’s more. I recommend Beaujolais Cru’s of: Brouilly [BREW-yee], Fleurie [FLUR-ee], Juliénas [JOO-lee-ay-nah] and Morgon [more-GOH].
Wine Serving Temperature
Wine temperature is one of the most overlooked things when it comes to serving wine. It may not sound like a big deal to most, however if a red wine is served too warm (as it most often is) the alcohol will show through, and it will taste vinegary. Too cold, and the wine will be “muted” and won’t show its full potential.
A simple guideline for getting your wine close to its correct serving temperature is to use the 20 minute rule. Take your white wine out of the refrigerator 20 minutes before you are ready to serve it, and put your red wine in the refrigerator 20 minutes before you are ready to serve it.
Don’t Forget the Mulled Wine!
Check out my previous article on mulled wine! I promise you won’t regret it, ESPECIALLY if the weather is cold where you are!