Thanksgiving is a time for family, food, tradition, drunken relatives. Within every family, there are varying degrees of tastes in wine, so it's usually a safe bet to grab one red and one white to hit all the palates that will be surrounding the dinner table as you gather together to overindulge in gratitude for our American heritage.
For a white, I found a magnum of La Vieille Ferme Côtes du Luberon Blanc for under $20 at Central Market. It's a crisp white made from Grenache Blanc, Bourboulenc, Ugni Blanc and Roussanne grapes from the Luberon Mountains in the Rhone Valley. Crisp, acidic with hints of vanilla and pear, it's considered a "value" wine, although it's also well-rounded and sophisticated enough to please any wine snobs in the family without breaking your pocketbook. As a bonus, you can pretend that you spent a lot of money on it, since it's French and all.
For the red, I recently received a sample of Glen Ellen Proprietor's Reserve 2007 Petite Sirah - also in a magnum. Even more of a value than the La Vieille Ferme, it retails at a mere $9.99 for 1.5 liters of the hearty, warming wine. Containing a surprising amount of depth from plums to oak to cinnamon, it could pair nicely with any game meats you might have at your Thanksgiving dinner, like venison or wild boar (if you have folks that like to hunt). It's something a little different from boring ol' Merlot or the common standby, Cabernet Sauvignon.
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No matter your preference, hit up the big bottles for a more interesting family conversation, and always ask yourself the most important question of the day - will it go well with gravy? The answer is "yes" if you grab a bottle of La Vieille Ferme or Glen Ellen Petite Sirah for Thursday's day of gluttony.