We are just one week away from the big day!
ARE YOU READY‽‽‽*
If you've been following along you are well ahead of the curve. If you are just tuning, you have a bit of catching up to do but you've still got plenty of time to do it so there is no need to panic!
Today we have a light discussion of a heavy topic: Politics at the table.
There is a lot of contention and anger this year regarding politics that could lead to some volatile situations. While overall these discussions probably need to happen at some point, the holiday table is neither the time nor the place. The feast is a time to come together in unity even if only for an hour or two and be thankful for the people who surround you, your family, and friends. Now is the time to prepare yourself and/or spouse (SO, partner, etc) as host(ess) to deflect and guide conversation away from points of contention. Anything is fair fodder from the wine you just discovered to recent movie releases (Sausage Party dropped my jaw and that's a difficult task!) Just be prepared with a handful of safe topics. At worst be prepared to simply state that you would love to discuss and debate the issues later perhaps over coffee after the main event is over.
Today's To-Do List:
- Shopping Trip #1
- Knock out your staple refills and ingredients for anything you are making ahead of time
- If using a frozen turkey, buy that now too. Avoid the last minute rush and we will need to get the defrosting and brining done soon
- Pick out and pickup your beverages (wine discussion below)
- Start thinking about the mood of the event
- Decide on table decor (if any)
- Background music (suggestions tomorrow)
- If possible and relevant knock out one of your make-aheads and get it off your list
Even if you already have a robust relationship with one of your local wine merchants to help you with the perfect pairing for each course of your meal my biggest advice for wine on Thanksgiving is to just not overthink it. The food is wildly varied and a mashup of many flavors that don't necessarily mesh well with each other much less with any one or two wines. Go with a cheap, easy to drink favorite label or grape, nothing fussy or complex as it will be lost. If you are newer to the wonderful world of wine here are some suggestions:
- In general wine drinkers will consume two glasses of wine per hour during a dinner party. A bottle of wine hold roughly 4 glasses. White wine tends to go faster than reds and tense family situations tends to accelerate drinking on the whole. You know you your guests: plan accordingly
- Don't spend more than $15 per bottle for Thanksgiving unless there is something you personally know and love and want to share. Because of the abundance and popularity of wine, price is actually a pretty terrible gauge of quality. Wonderful things can be found just as easily in the $8 - 9 dollar range as they can in the $80-90 range. Because of the wide range of flavors on the table an expensive bottle will likely just be wasted so save it for later.
- Light and adaptable is the way to go here. Richer, deeper wines might play well with some menu items but will fight others. Unless you have a very focused table, lighter and sweeter is your battle cry. For white wines look for rieslings, "unoaked" chardonnays, or if you want something super sweet grab a moscato (think adult soda pop!) For reds: barbera (new personal favorite), pinot noir, or sauvignon blanc.
- When in doubt: go blends. Blended wines take a lot of the guess workout out and can be a really great introduction to the world of wine. Apothic and Menage a Trois make killer blends and can be found in most grocery stores for cheap. If you can find it 19 Crimes Red Blend is just outstanding, we just got to taste it yesterday.
- Don't underestimate sparkling white wine! Great flavor and very festive for under $10 a bottle. Plus the sparkle helps refresh the palate from the butter and cream heavy dishes.
- A note about boxed wine: the packaging has come a long way over the years and some good sipping can be found from a box. But for the love of all things we hold dear... buy a decanter for table service... the box is just too tacky for words!
* this is the interrobang and it is my favorite punctuation mark created to date. Learn stuff about it here.