You screwed up. You are in charge of Thanksgiving wine, and you thought about it, and you put if off until tomorrow, and now tomorrow is—Thanksgiving Day.
Calm down. You can do this. Here is last-minute, make-it-happen-now guide. No specific recommendations—you are so way past that. Run into nearest store, buy what is available.
Best last minute choice
Sparkling wines and Champagne bring elegance and phenomenal versatility. Sparkling shines from appetizer start to pumpkin/pecan pie finish. Divide number of wine drinkers by two, buy that many bottles of bubbly, plus couple more for good measure.
Do not take out a loan to buy over-priced French stuff (Champagne if made in Champagne). Enjoy affordable Spanish cava, tasty and low-alcohol Italian prosecco or asti, or American sparkling from New Mexico, New York State, or California. You can get good bottles of these for less than $20.
Sauvignon blanc: Citrus-based flavors with herb or mineral undertones pair well with turkey and mashed potatoes. Look for New Zealand or France (where best is called Sancerre and Pouilly-Fumé).
Riesling: Acidity and flavors of apple, apricot, and honey make riesling a righteous pairing with sweet potatoes, turkey, and stuffing. Germany makes quality, California bargains.
Pinot noir: No-risk pick. Pairs with turkey and other white meats. Washington and Oregon compete with California for good domestic bottles; it’s called Burgundy when it’s from France. Warning: pinot noir does not do cheap well. If you can’t spend $20-plus, go to Plan Z or S or GSM.
Zinfandel: More intense than pinot noir—snag zin if you favor heartier, higher alcohol, especially if red meat is on your table. Pick up white zin for those who don’t like wine.
Syrah/Shiraz: Spicy edge and meaty character accommodates range of flavors. Syrah’s peppery notes partner well with herb-infused stuffing and dark turkey meat.
GSM (grenach, syrah, mourvedre blend): Go upscale with a Châteauneuf-du-Pape or Gigondas (French and north of $60 a bottle); go bargain with Stump Jump (Australia, around $11). Ripe red fruit and pepper; heavier than pinot noir, not as bold as zin or shiraz.
Get going procrastinating pilgrim. Happy Thanksgiving.