Thanksgiving Survival Kit v.2017
A few years ago, on a whim, we sent an offer for something called a Thanksgiving Survival Kit. It ended up being one of the most popular 6-packs of the year. I think something resonated with folks about the seemingly disparate mix of wines. But to us that's what Thanksgiving is all about. There's no perfect bottle to go with a meal that features 8-19 different dishes, right? So, we like to mix it up with the wine selections too.
Every single one of these wines at some time or another has been offered by journalistic types as the "perfect" wine for the holiday table. So because we're offended by that, we're offering them all!
No joke! So, without further adieu, for just $96 on the six-pack, behold....
The Sparkler (in Pink)
For five straight years we've featured a dry, sparkling, rosé as the leadoff hitter on this 6-pack. This year's comes courtesy of sisters Nancy and Alex Gontier at Domaine de la Camarette. Elizabeth and I recenlty visited them and had this bottle over dinner at their restaurant. They sell most of it exclusively there. The next morning Elizabeth managed to wrestle some bottles away and here it is! A lively, refreshing pink that will make a terrific aperitif for dinner guests. Bulles de la Camarette, NV $22
The Perfect White
X marks the spot. And this year I want to take you to Galicia, the far northwest of Spain and show off a new house favorite white from Sao del Coster--a pure, lively, yet wonderfully rich and complex Albariño. The seaside location gives this wine a little saltiness on the lips and is quivering with bright acidity. Perfect to wash down that oyster stuffing! Sao del Coster Alabariño X 2015, $18
Spain on the Brain
There are very few true wine bargains left in Europe today. But Montsant might be a place that is still under-appreciated and not fully exloited. Ramon Almazora farms just one hectare to a combination of Grenache, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Syrah. He picks it all on the same day and co-ferments it all together to make just one wine, this one. For my money, it is the perfect red. And a little bottle-aged too. Corbaterra Montsant 2011, $24
The Really Really Pretty
There is a new term roiling around in the wine biz called "naked wines." This could have lots of connotations, but the main idea is that a wine shouldn't have lots of tricks up its sleeve in order to become drinkable. Grow good grapes, be minimalist in the winery, and bottle it to drink with impunity. In other words, stick to the basics. Toby Bainbridge does this all, and then completes the task by bottling in a clear glass bottle, and topping it off with a screwcap. His pure Grolleau from the Loire Valley is dangerous when drunk a little cool. He playfully named it "lipsitck." Bainbridge & Cathcart Rouge aux Levres 2016, $19
Under the Tuscan Sun
There is no possible way to do this six-pack without an Italian wine. And then one that has really knocked us out this year is Chianti. I think a change is afoot, generally speaking. I like seeing winemakers like Aljoscha Goldschmidt making wines that aren't all whiskey barrel and wet leather. His Chianti almost strikes me as Pinot Noir on steroids (in a good way). You'll know it's Italian, but you'll also know you're drinking something kinda unique. Corzano e Paterno Chianti 2014, $19
To Infinity, and Beyond!
We finish back in the south of France, in a small hamlet deep in the Cevennes where Emmanuelle Schoch continues her march toward greatness. Her wines all all named after astronomical terms. I think the stargazing speaks to her visions of the future for her winey. With this Syrah/Cinsault blend she accompolishes something magical--a rich, profound red that has never seen the inside of a barrel. The texture of this wine is worth the trip on its own--a fondant of red fruit and chocolate. Wanna serve it with your pumpkin pie? Why not! Mas Seren Lilith 2015, $24