2022 Thanksgiving Wine Suggestions

Thanksgiving: family, friends, togetherness. It's also about taking deep breaths, letting things go, and, sometimes, eating a side of humble pie with your turkey. More than anything else, it's about gratitude. 

At least that's the idea.

Anytime there's a gathering, the wine-inclined among us may have the tendency to agonize over what to have on the table. Despite years of encouraging people to not overthink it, to drink beer instead, wine lovers will not be deterred. So, here's your brass-tacks guide to stocking up for Thanksgiving 2022:

  1. One white, one red, and multiple bottles of each. Both selections should express fruit without being bogged down by a lot of residual sugar or high levels (>13.5%) of alcohol. Bonus if they demonstrate discernable acidity. Figure one bottle per person so you don't run out, and the leftovers will be good for longer than all that extra stuffing.
  2. Keep them affordable. That notion is highly variable, but the idea here is to not overinvest. There will be different tastes and levels of appreciation at the table; a situation where expensive bottles are far less likely to be met with the excitement you'd hope for.
  3. Serve the red at (or slightly) above cellar temperature (55-ish degrees Fahrenheit) and the white slightly cooler than that. The red will be friendlier to drink and the white will be more expressive than if it came right out of a 42 degree fridge.
  4. Make sure you like what you serve. Don't take anyone else's suggestions as a guarantee that you will feel good about serving/bringing wine to Thanksgiving. Take a few bottles for a test drive this weekend and see how it goes.

In years past, I've made the argument that, since it is a quintessentially American holiday, the wines should also be domestic. However, guidance points 1 and 2 above are seemingly at odds with the majority of US wines available today. So, in 2022, I'm chucking the domestic preference. 

Some candidates to consider this year, three reds, three whites:

2020 Alois Lageder Schiava Alto Adige $16 Perhaps the lightest red wine I've had, the color is a few shades darker than most ros├ęs, but the aromatic profile and lithe acidity are just beautiful. Big bonus: it's biodynamically-farmed and clocks in at just 10.5% ABV!

2021 Via Revolucionaria Criolla Grande Uco Valley $15 Similar to the red above, but from south America. Full details here.

2020 Gabbiano Chianti 'Cavalieri d'Oro' $10 Available at most grocery stores (sometimes in magnums,) this is my unicorn wine for 2022. It was reviewed here a few weeks ago.

2021 Hugl Gruner Veltliner $13 This Austrian winemaking giant knows a thing or two about delivering quality and value. Bottled in a crowd-friendly one liter, this is a terrific, versatile white. Crisp and quenching, but with ample fruit and acidic zip, it'll go with pretty much anything you're serving, even your uncle's off-color political rants. Also worth checking out is their zweigelt, a simple, fun red.

2021 Esporao Monte Velho Blanco $12 Whenever I see this on sale, I back up the truck. Read the review from this summer here.

2020 Scaia Garganega/Chardonnay $11 Chardonnay and garganega make strange bedfellows on paper, but the combo really works in this fun white from the Veneto. Details in this review.