Time for the Cork

"Wine is mentioned in the bible more than 400 times, Lemonade, not once."
 -- refridgerator magnet

So we've covered quite a bit of ground with the "fork", I think it's time we focus on the "cork".
Now, some of you may be wondering: what could a girl with the delusion of being a modern day flannel wearing June Cleaver, and a self proclaimed food nutjob/kitchen goddess with an obsession of 80's television sitcoms possibly know about wine? Surprisingly, quite a bit.
Besides my own affinity for, and self education of wine (aka Wine For Dummies), I have poured wine in a boutique tasting room (I even shared some with the guests), and learned quite a bit about the winemaking process, different varietals, and food and wine pairings.

Johnny Carson once said:
"Thanksgiving is an emotional holiday. People travel thousands of miles to be with people they only see once a year. And then discover once a year is way too often."

This is where wine comes in.

Whether you are hosting Thanksgiving, or attending a Thanksgiving (or holiday) dinner, it is inevitable the menu planning has begun. It is not difficult to pair wine with traditional fall and winter foods, but there are a few guidelines to follow:
  • It is not necessary to splurge on wine for Thanksgiving. The traditional menu has a lot of sweet elements, such as cranberry sauce and sweet potatoes, that lend themselves to medium-bodied wines, not overly complex or too subtle. A soft red is "medium-bodied," which means it's relatively low in tannin, the substance in grape skins that gives red wine its color and "weight." Like a good turkey gravy, it will feel silky in your mouth, not rough or astringent. Some good examples of medium bodied reds that are widely available are:

Pinot Noir from Oregon, Washington, or California (bright and refreshing with hints of sour cherry and mushrooms)

Syrah (or Shiraz) from California or Australia (rustic, peppery, and jammy)


Beaujolais from the Burgundy region of France (very easy to drink,smooth, a white wine drinker's introduction to red)

Red Cotes du Rhone, from France's Rhone valley (earthier and spicy)

Some suggestions:


  • Erath Winery Pinot Noir, Oregon ($18)
  • Black Mountain Pinot Noir, California ($5, sold at Trader Joes)


  • Bogle Petite Sirah, California ($9)
  • Yellow Tail Shiraz, Australia ($7)


  • Louis Jadot Beaujolais-Villages ($11)


  • Perrin Cotes du Rhone Reserve ($7, sold at Trader Joes)

Other Red Wines of Interest that would be fitting for any holiday gathering:

  • Chariot Gypsy ($6, sold at Trader Joes) delicious blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Petite Sirah, Zinfandel and Sangiovese from California

  • Francis Coppola Rosso Classic ($11), blend of Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon and Sirah

And, if this is all a little too intimidating, or is too much information to sort through, here is a good way to discover your new favorite holiday wine (or any wine for that matter):
Host a wine tasting party!

  • Require each guest to bring a bottle of wine of a certain price (choose under $15, or under $10).
  • As each guest arrives, write down a corresponding number to that bottle. Cover the label with a piece of paper, identified with that number.
  • Taste the wines througout the evening, with each guest writing down notes on each wine.
  • Serve crackers, bread, and appetizers.
  • At the end of the evening have all guests rank the wines, turn in their votes, add all the totals, and see which wine comes out on top!
So to all of you wine loving turkey's out there:

May your stuffing be tasty
May your turkey plump,
May your potatoes and gravy
Have nary a lump.
May your yams be delicious
And your pies take the prize,
And may your Thanksgiving dinner
Stay off your thighs!


  1. Oh, a wine tasting party sounds like so much fun. Great idea!

  2. Love this posting! Thanks, Laurie! :-) I'll be printing this out and taking it with me to my next Trader Joe's visit so I can remember which wines you suggested! :-)

  3. Wow, well, i should'a read this BEFORE I headed off to the grocery store! I got the assignment of bringing the wine. That's the wrong assignment for me.... I don't drink red wine! Nate usually has Two Buck Chuck on hand but since it's Thanksgiving, we wanted to splurge a little bit.
    My decision making process went like this....
    Bottle #1 & #2 "Oh, there's only two bottles left of xyz type of wine - it must be good" Bottle #3 "Oh, MAD HOUSEWIFE, that's a cool label - it must be good" Bottle #4 "Oh, Red High Heel wine (or something like it)" Nice name, it must be good!"
    I had to call Nate from the grocery store while I had the 4 bottles of wine in the cart to make sure I picked the right type. Apparantly I hadn't. No cab he said. So I had to put the 4 bottles back and start again.
    Next I went to my handy dandy coupons from the paper - BV Coastals - 2 coupons and it was on sale. I don't remember what else, but I was at the grocery store WAY TOO LONG!! I will save this post for future use!

  4. Oh Sascha that sounds like quite the wine shopping trip!!! At least you ended up with BV coastals, they are always good! Last year Mark's uncle gave me the Mad Housewife wine, and I was like "what are you trying to say?"! haha.


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