Tempus Fugit. It’s hard to believe we are at the end of 2023! I have a lot on my plate for this blog. Soon to come (hopefully) will be my “Top Twenty Wines Under Twenty Bucks.” I tried forty wines in past articles, which became somewhat of a burden. I think twenty is plenty. It should be an interesting list, I haven’t decided yet which my number one wine will be. I should have that list out in December.

I started fast and furious with my YouTube channel again, after the big move and vacation to Sicily. I published two, featuring Nero d’Avola. I was quite intrigued by this varietal while on my visit to Sicily. Having tried several over the course of two weeks, I found them to be quite different in style from various producers. I also reviewed a few wines from Mount Etna. Check them out when you get a chance.

Speaking of YouTube, I’m flirting with one thousand subscribers (I’m now at 818). I mention this because when I hit one thousand, I start to receive payment when they advertise on my channel. It would be nice to get a small monetary bonus for the effort it takes to put the episodes out there. However, payment or not, I really enjoy doing them. Today, I will have my first segment featuring Thanksgiving wines on my channel. I hope to put up at least three before Turkey Day. After that, I will focus on wines for Christmas dinner, which can go in a lot of directions. Prime rib, ham, duck, you name it. One thing I can say about the era we live in, is that people do not always go traditional.

This year, I will be working in my department on Thanksgiving Day. A lot of you might want to feel sorry for me, but I don’t. I actually like working on Thanksgiving, because it gives me opportunities to help people find a good wine for their meal. Believe me when I tell you, there are a lot of procrastinators out there who will be shopping for wine on the day of the dinner. Our department is stocked and ready with wines that I believe will fit the bill.

Speaking of wines that “fit the bill” I have been exploring YouTube to see what other wine people are suggesting for Thanksgiving. As my wife would say, “I’m gobsmacked” at the suggestions out there. It used to be there were four to six wines that were always recommended for the traditional Thanksgiving meal. Pinot Noir, Gamay, Zinfandel, Sparkling Rose’, Gewurztraminer or Riesling. Now, wine geeks are going ballistic with ideas. My approach is simple, use the kiss method (keep it simple stupid). Let’s face it, you’re having guests for dinner and you want wines that are both affordable and most likely acceptable for a wide range of people. A popular choice amongst wine people has become both Sauvignon Blanc and Gruner Veltliner. Personally, I don’t have a warm fuzzy feeling for either of those wines for the holiday meal. If you do decide on Sauvignon Blanc, I would stay away from the New Zealand versions. They can be quite pungent and could over-power some of the side dishes. As far as Gruner? If you walk into a grocery store wine department to search for a Gruner, good luck (other than my department of course). Make it easy on yourself, the meal is a big deal and the wine should not give you a brain cramp.

I have given up on Zinfandel for Thanksgiving. I’m not saying I will never go back, but for now, it seems to be a mismatch to me. Zin has a very high alcohol percentage which can be dangerous when you are sucking down wine during Thanksgiving. Don’t get me wrong, I love Zinfandel However, I’ve found it to be too powerful for some of the subtle side dishes of the meal and it can put you to sleep much earlier than a Gamay or Pinot Noir. The last thing you need is a bunch of inebriated guests for the evening. I know it’s a bit outside the box, but I’m saying it.


Stan The Wine Man

About Stan The Wine Man

I am a blue collar wine guy who has been in the biz for over twenty years. I work at a store in a tourist destination stop. I work hard at finding the best wine for the money. I love the challenge of learning my customer's palate so I can find the best wine for them, whether it is Petrus or white zinfandel. Cheers!
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