Diversity Day

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I considered making this an obligatory post about the obligatory media story about thanksgiving wines. But what fun is that?

I think the only way to properly treat the topic of what to drink on thanksgiving day is to treat it the same way we treat the food we eat on this day: Celebrate Diversity!

There’s nothing better, nothing more visually Americana than a picture of a Thanksgiving table, decked out with a big brown Turkey, a pile of mashed potatoes, two kinds of stuffing (one for the meat eaters and one for the vegetarians), green beans shinny and lathered in something, a boat or two of gravy, a bowel of cranberry sauce, a lonely vessel of something that contains tiny marshmallows and Mandarin oranges, the round doughy rolls stacked high, a collection of pattern-splattered plates from the buffet encircling the table, the special salt and pepper shakers that have not had their salt and pepper replaced n a decade or more (but they are pretty), a plate with a stick of stick of soft butter, the special water glasses, and…the wine glasses.

If you’ve never done it, put some tall candles down the middle of the table, light them all and take a picture. Remember this scene. The combination of the occasion and the way the candlelight bounces off the buffet plates, crispy turkey, glasses and cranberry sauces is pretty cool.

Yes, the wine.

The meal itself is about diversity, isn’t it. Look at all that stuff on the table. You can choose a wine to match just one dish (usually the turkey), a wine that attempts to match everything on the table (impossible) or…you can break out bunches of wine. This latter option is the ticket. And it’s my plan of attack this year.

Playing it safe would be getting a Gewurztraminer with a hint of sweetness and  nice Pinot and stop there. But let’s face it, if you are putting something on the table that is made with small marshmallows and Mandarin orange slices then playing it safe really isn’t what this meal is about, is it.

I think I"ll go deep this year. Besides the Gewurztraminer (2005 Bucklin) and Chardonnay (1997 Calera), I think I’ll also be breaking out the 1998 Ravenswood Old Hill Zinfandel (It is an American Holiday, after all), a 2001 Bordeaux blend (Astrale e Terra), 2001 Merlot (Guilliams),  a nearly dry Hook & Ladder White Zinfandel (there is a dish with marshmallows and tiny mandarin orange slices on the table after all), and an Aussie Tokay.

Diversity and lots of it. As a meal, this is how the Thanksgiving feast strikes me. There’s just no sense denying it.

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