8 Gluttony-Enabling Thanksgiving Wines

If, like me, you are determined to engage in unadulterated, Al Rokerian (pre-stomach-band) gluttony this Thursday, you need wine that is bright and lively enough to the clear the way for each and every gravy-bathed spoonful of excess.  Here are eight recent discoveries, one for each major wine category, all overachievers in delivering high pleasure for the price.  Track them down at your local wine merchant and/or via Wine Searcher.


Roederer Estate Brut Anderson Valley (California, $23)
vibrant with notes of baked apple and spice, and a fine bead

Arnaldo Caprai Grechetto Colli Martani Grecante 2012 (Italy, $19)
glowingly fresh, with a vein of grapefruit zest

Fox Run Finger Lakes “Lake Dana Vineyard” 2012 (New York, $38)
bursting with flowers and juicy green apple

Truchard Roussanne 2012 (California, $25)
peachy, creamy, but clean and lip-smackingly crisp
order direct here

Bourgueil Cuvée Alouettes 2011 (France, $16)
light, bright, redolent with lilacs and buzzy with acidity

La Cabotte Côtes du Rhône-Villages Massif d’Uchaux Garance 2011 (France, $20)
juicy, velvety, plummy, medium-to-full bodied

Norton Malbec Reserva 2011 (Argentina, $20)
cassis, blackcurrants, and smoke on a lively frame

Vietti Moscato d’Asti Cascinetta 2011 (Italy, $14)
lightly sweet, with pears, orange blossoms, and a cleansing fizziness

Tryptophania? Self-Stimulate with Chinon, a Thanksgiving Wine Extraordinaire

This Thanksgiving try Chinon wine, a stimulating bistro favorite evocative of red fruits, earth, and sometimes a savory “green” quality.  Derived from the Chenin Blanc grape, its light-to-medium weight and tangy acidity make it perfect for warding off tryptophanic spells at the T-Day table.  Mark weighs in from Paris in this video.

Featured wine: Alain & Jerome Lenoir Chinon “Les Roches” 2002 (France, 11 Euros)

More Standout Chinon

Baudry Chinon “Les Granges” 2009 ($16)

Couly-Dutheil Chinon “Baronnie Madeleine” 2007 ($18)

Jean-Maurice Raffault 2008 ($15)

Les Paradis Chinon 2009 ($10)

Other Lissome Loire Reds

Catherine et Pierre Breton Bourgueil “Trinch!” 2009 ($17)

Cave de Bourgueil Bourgueil 2009 ($12)

Frederic Mabileau “Éclipse No. 8” St-Nicolas-de-Bourgueil 2008 ($30)

Toro! Toro! Termes: Aching to be Unleashed at the Thanksgiving Table

A brunchtime visit to Manhattan’s cathedral of fromage, Artisianal, introduced me to a rich, spicy red that’s just aching to be served with your Thanksgiving bird: the Termes 2003 from Spain’s Bodega Numanthia-Termes.

Nuggets to Know:

1) Termes hails from Toro, an oft-neglected wine district of northern Spain not far from the country’s two marquee wine regions, Rioja and Ribera del Duero.  An increasing number of tempting wines are emerging from Toro, in part because of the influence of energetic importers like Jorge Ordonez, who is personally involved with the production of Termes (as well as the winery’s more expensive Numanthia and Termanthia bottlings).

2) The grape in use here is Tempranillo (called Tinta de Toro by locals), Spain’s signature red-wine grape and the primary building block for the wines of Rioja and Ribera del Duero.

3) Termes comes from 30-year-old vines. Old vines like these produce fewer grapes, and those grapes are usually more concentrated, ultimately yielding wine that is more likely to have intense flavors.

thanksgiving redProducer: Bodega Numanthia-Termes (Spain)
Wine: Termes
Vintage: 2003
Cost: $23
Track it down: www.klwines.com/product.asp?sku=1017653

The nose is a heady swirl of blueberries and blackberries, joined by a trace of dark chocolate, while the taste is spicy, smooth, and lushly flavorful.  This is a full-bodied, likeable velvet-jacket of a wine that will please your Thanksgiving tablemates and marry well with cranberry sauce, spicy stuffing, and the roasted skin of turkey.