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Winebits 309: Thanksgiving 2013

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Thanksgiving wine advice from around the cyber-ether, but not including the site that said picking the wrong wines would ruin the Thanksgiving meal. I guess I need to send that person a copy of the cheap wine book.

The always tasteful Ray Isle at Food & Wine, with two roses — yes, two, and bless you, Ray — and nothing that costs more than $20. My favorite suggestion is the Adami Garbèl Prosecco ($15), which he notes is direr than most Proseccos.

Eric Asimov at the New York Times: “No matter how much you decide to spend on wine, serving myriad sweet and savory foods to a large group is no time to fuss about matching particular bottles with individual flavors; it’s pointless.” Plus, none of the suggestions costs more than $25, and he says it’s OK if you don’t want to spend that much. Is it any wonder he’s the best wine writer in the U.S.? My favorite suggestion? New York’s Fox Run cabernet franc, made by the very talented Peter Bell.

How about wines from American winemaking families for this most of American of holidays, suggests Katie Kelley Bell at Forbes? This is not the usual trendy California lineup, either, but includes choices from Virginia and the Pacific Northwest. Her choices are a little pricey, like the Gundlach-Bundschu merlot, but almost all are wines worth drinking.

Wine of the week: Domaine D’Arton Les Hauts 2011

Domaine D’Arton, a white blend from the Gascony region of France, is great cheap wine, even by the Wine Curmudgeon’s exacting standards. It’s not only on a level with the Gascon wines in the $10 Hall of Fame, but it also demonstrates that wine doesn’t have to come from the same old places and be made with the same old grapes.

The D’Arton ($9, purchased) is an odd blend, even for Gascony, made with mostly colombard and fleshed out with sauvignon blanc (not the region’s best grape) and gros manseng. The result is a dry white with some lemon peel in the front, yet underneath is that wonderful white grapiness that makes Gascon wines so distinctive and so much fun to drink. It's the kind of wine that doesn't require a critic or a sommelier; just a simple dinner or an evening on the porch, friends and conversation.

And I’m not the only one who feels this way, for all the doubters and chardonnay drinkers out there.

Is this a Thanksgiving wine? Is the Wine Curmudgeon a crank about cheap wine?

Winebits 256: Thanksgiving wine

What others are writing about wine for Turkey Day:

Last minute holiday wines: From no less than Eric Asimov at the New York Times, which does not seem like something he would write about – rushing to the store just before Thanksgiving. And his selections include Beaujolais (no, not the Nouveau); Macon-Village, the inexpensive white Burgundy that I like a lot as well; and zinfandel, believe it or not. And here is where things get really spooky – Asimov recommends Ridge’s Three Valleys, which I just did, and Ravenswood’s Old Vine Sonoma County, a grocery store wine (I know, I know) that I tasted a couple of weeks ago, liked, and scheduled for a review.

Go French: Oddly enough, that seems to be a theme this year. Among those who recommend French wines are Pam Busch of Examiner.com, who notes that “It s almost impossible to go wrong with these French wines at this time of year.” She likes a Kermit Lynch producer, Domaine Dupueble, which begs the question: When is not a good time for a Kermit Lynch wine?

An eclectic selection: The Denver Off the Wagon website has something for everyone – literally. There must be more than three dozen selections, including those from two Bouder experts, Bobby Stuckey and Arian Kara. The J pinot gris is always a good choice, as are the French choices (more French agan): the Bertrand cremant from Limoux and the Humbrecht pinot blanc from Alsace.

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