It’s time for wine writers and wine geeks to heave a collective, heavy sigh.
Just as every story about Australia is spiritually obligated to include a photo of the Sydney Opera House (seriously, what is with that?), the close of November brings the wine geek heartburn of Ye Olde Dreaded Thanksgiving Day Wine Pairing Article.
Long-time 1WD readers already know how I feel about the subject of Ye Olde Dreaded Thanksgiving Day Wine Pairing Article. But there is NO way that any wine writing gig is letting a wine writer out of having to pen that one, because people apparently want the help. Ironically, it’s the very situation that causes wine drinkers angina – the fact that the Turkey Day dinner table, with its clashes of foodstuffs of various flavors, textures, and sweetness levels, is a veritable mine field for any one wine pairing choice – that makes the task of recommending wines for Thanksgiving dinner more or less impossible.
Seriously. It’s like Strangelets or Antiparticles. Theoretically they’re there, and theoretically we can test for their existence, but not without a crap ton of work and learning from failed attempts. Actually, in the case of Strangelets, testing for their existence in a large scale particle collider could theoretically create a chain reaction that turns all matter on Earth into Strangelets, which would suck major donkey bong (but only for a few millionths of a second, after which you’d just be a bunch of Strangelet particles) if it happened on Thanksgiving and you were really looking forward to your Aunt’s pumpkin pie. Best if we just not think about that one from here on out, okay?
Anyway… there are general guidelines that can reduce the impossibility quotient of the Turkey Day wine decision, and this year I’ve used the Answers.com wine gig as the outlet for my latest take on those. They’re in Dos/Don’ts format, and include at least one reversal of a a previous Thanksgiving dinner wine recommendation that I’ve given in the past, which if nothing else can provide you some fodder for making fun of me and calling me a hack, which is another annual tradition for some people (if you’re one of them: you’re welcome!)…
This month’s Answers.com wine article roundup also includes my take on Jeff Siegel’s excellent new book, titled The Wine Curmudgeon’s Guide to Cheap Wine. Jeff’s brief tome could have proven handy for helping you select a non-budget-busting Turkey Day wine, if only you’d read it before Turkey Day (ah, the irony!). I was pleasantly surprised that Jeff sent me a copy to review, given that in some respects I am part of the problem (often focusing on lower-production, not-too-easy-to-find, and sometimes very pricey wines in my wine features). The Wine Curmudgeon’s Guide to Cheap Wine isn’t short on good writing or on well-crafted tirades about the state of the wine biz, and it’s worth the sticker price for those aspects alone.
This month I’ve also reviewed The World of Sicilian Wine by MW Bill Nesto and Frances di Savino, a book that, like bottles of Sicilian wines, taunted me from the sample pile with an imagined look of snooty condescension, as if saying “dude, really, isn’t it time you stopped being a snob and spending time on all of that 300 case production Portuguese shizz and blew the dust off of me… you prick?” They didn’t really say that, of course. In reality they mocked me with their silence!!! Anyway, The World of Sicilian Wine is an odd entry into the wine book canon, as it’s really a sort of anthropology book about Sicily that uses wine as a fulcrum (or maybe an excuse) to delve into some fascinating aspects of Sicilian history and culture; not a bad X-mas gift pick for the wine geek who feels as though s/he has already read it all and is jaded with the overview/history/producers/vintage-charts format of most wine region overviews.
Finally, with the help of Napa-based wine and technology think-tank group Vintank, I compiled a list of the most-talked about wine types online so far in 2013, as measured across all social media channels. The results are surprising (to me, anyway), particularly the number one spot. You can check out the Answers.com article for the top five, but here are the “bottom five” that didn’t make it into the piece, courtesy of Vintank: 10) Riesling (hay!… and almost neck-and-neck with…), 9) Malbec, 8) Zinfandel, 7) Moscato (yeah… I know, I am sick of it too, already), and 6) Syrah (who says this variety is dead? not online, it’s not!). Those last five received mentions in the 300K-500K range, with the top five seeing online mentions in the 550K to 1.4M range.
Actually, that’s not the real “Finally…” This is the real “Finally…” today: have an epically amazing, hedonically stimulating, and mentally and physically safe and rejuvenating Turkey Day!