Ah, Thanksgiving. A magical time to gather with friends and family, and one of the major holidays that begs for an obligatory wine post, article in the paper, or a thousand quizzical e-mails from loved ones. At right is a photo from my cherished Thanksgiving of 2005, when I began my prep work by slicing off the tip of my thumb and then cooked an entire feast with just one arm. I wrote up the full story at the time, but I do warn that it is not for the squeamish.
So what about the wine pairing? I've always felt I hit upon the perfect strategy in 2008, and haven't had the inspiration to revise it since. My Thanksgiving Buying Guide for the Wine Novice still stands pretty well. Don't spend a lot of money per bottle. Think PIGS: Portugal, Italy, Greece, and Spain. It holds up today.
I'm going to add one suggestion this year: introduce somebody to wine. Maybe it's your cousin's new husband or an aged aunt or a kid home from college, but when you've done your duty and have a half dozen bottles open on the table, ranging from sweet to dry and red to pink to white and bubbly and still, you've got a great opportunity to show that wine is not just a single flavor or experience, but is a broad range of sensations. And when that spark catches (and it may not), you have the opportunity to say, "This doesn't just have to be for special occasions. Wine can make a Tuesday evening spaghetti dinner special and elevate it above the routine."
Next week, travel safely, enjoy dinner, and hug those who are close to you. Whether there's a glass of wine in your hand or not, cherish the time together gathered in mutual feasting and fellowship.