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Winebits 361: Thanksgiving 2014 edition

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Thanksgiving 2014Thanksgiving wine suggestions from around the Internet:

 • Keeping it simple: From Real Simple, part of the Martha Stewart magazine empire, “affordable” wines for Thanksgiving. And who says we’re not making progress on the cheap wine front? The recommendations include so many wines that I’ve reviewed here that I think the author may have visited the blog once or twice. They include Gruet sparkling (though the article says it’s New Mexico, which hasn’t been true for years); the Pine Ridge chenin blanc blend (and can the 2015 $10 Hall of Fame be just seven weeks away?); and the Sicilian Planeta red. One caveat: This is a dated post, despite its high Google position, and some of the wines listed will be hard to find.

Surprisingly simple: From Forbes, which offers mostly affordable wine, including too many that aren’t all that good. Still, one of the world’s great wine values, the $12 Acrobat pinot gris, is included. Equally as bizarre — the $10 Handcrafted chardonnay, about as simple as chardonnay from a Big Wine producer gets, is next to the $60 Sea Smoke, a 14.9 percent California monster with 16 months of oak and a critical darling. The only thing those two wines have in common is that they have grapes in them.

 • Never simple: From Eric Asimov at the New York Times, whose annual Thanksgiving column, which I always enjoy, is not unlike the Passover Seder scene from “Annie Hall” — lots of arguing between people who mostly agree about they’re arguing about. His choices include a $14 white Loire from Fournier Pere et Fils, made with sauvignon blanc that I’d love to try. But I’ve never seen in a store and Wine-Searcher,com says it’s only available from east coast retailers. The rest, as delicious as they sound, seem to be as New York-centric as the Fournier.

Thanksgiving wine 2014

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Thanksgiving wine 2014The Wine Curmudgeon got a press release last week touting a big-time California producer’s five pinot noirs for Thanksgiving. Because, I suppose, we’re supposed to drink pinot noir for Thanksgiving.

Excuse me while I throw a fit. Is this 1985, when we could only drink certain wines with certain foods at certain times? Of course not. This is the 21st century, when we can drink what we want when we want with whatever food we want. Which makes Thanksgiving the greatest wine holiday in the world, since it is about and variety and being thankful for all those choices.

Guidelines for holiday wine buying are here; this year’s suggestions are after the jump:

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.

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