Thanksgiving can be high anxiety wine time.
Wine sellers love it because they do best wine business Thanksgiving through New Years: lots of people who do not regularly purchase wine buy it to titivate their family meal, and regular wine buyers step up in price for same reason.
It also is time when wine advice flows freely. Google “wine+Thanksgiving” [cq] and you get every kind of advice in the world—six million links.
Pinot Noir is perfect pour because it won’t gag amateur drinkers, it won’t run afoul of fowl, it is traditional choice. But value-priced Pinot typically does not deliver, so not good choice on tight budget.
Zero in on Zin. It’s distinctly American; throw White Zin in for those who aren’t into wine. On other hand, in heaviest, high alcohol incarnations, Zin obliterates taste of everything and is shameful misplay.
The cornucopia of flavors at your Thanksgiving feast is the problem. Blindly pick any wine and it probably will go wonderfully well with something and clash horribly with something else.
Solution: open several different bottles. If you have guests willing to participate, invite them to bring their favorite wine to enhance variety.
If you must go with a single wine, pour sparkling—an affordable cava from Spain, a Prosecco or Asti from Italy, a sparkling from California or New York State or New Mexico, even a pricey Champagne. Bubbly elevates everyone’s mood, goes with everything. Relax, problem solved.
• Freixenet Cordon Negro Extra Dry. Not as dry as Brut, so appeals to more guests. World value leader. Spain. $10.
• Giovello Prosecco. Not too sweet, not too dry, crowd pleaser. Italy. $12.
• Gruet Brut Rosé. Dependably delicious from New Mexico. $16.
• Elio Perrone Bigaro Sparkling Rosé. Delicious, balanced, intense. Italy. $20.
• Col Di Luna Rosé Di Valmonte. Another not too sweet, not to dry. Italy. $23.
• Moët Imperial Champaign. Okay, this is showing off. Go for it. $45.