Giving Thanks for Cheap Wine (and Other Important Stuff)
It’s good to be young, broke, and beautiful
Dear Two Buck Chick,
I’m going to Thanksgiving dinner at (insert friend/family member)’s house and I need to bring some wine. WTF should I bring? P.S. I’m broke.
You came to the right column, my (completely fictitious) friend! So you ain’t got nuthin but lint in yo’ pockets, but you want to contribute something to the big feast, eh? Something that says “See everyone! I’m not the immature, unmotivated, freeloading sloth that you think I am. I picked out and paid for a delicious, grown-ass person wine all by myself!”
The good thing about Turkey Day wine pairings is that you have to try pretty damn hard to F-it up. With such a cornucopia of different foods on the table, you’re likely to hit the nail on the head at some point.
One important detail to remember, however, is that while alcohol kills the pain of enduring “20-questions” from every member of your bat-shit crazy extended family, it also kills the flavor in food. In other words, go easy on the % ABV (alcohol by volume) and other over-the-top, flavor-smothering components for that matter (oak, spice, tannin etc). Beyond that, it’s really just about getting something tasty that everyone will enjoy, but won’t send you spiraling into (more) debt.
I suggest going with one or (for you extra grown-ass persons) more of these crowd-pleasing, broke-ass budget-appeasing options:
Sparkling: Graham Beck NV Cap Classique Brut (~$15) – The term Cap Classique is South African for “made just like Champagne but for broke-asses”. For reals, this is one of the best Champagne-method sparkling wines under $20 I have ever put in my mouth. It’s rich and creamy enough to hold up to all that gravy and junk on your plate, but still crisp and refreshing. If you’re feeling really cocky, get their NV Brut Rosé.
White: Foxglove Chardonnay (~$12) – I have no qualms about admitting that I despise the majority of California Chardonnays in this price range because they’re like the wine version of Paula Deen – 750 ml of flabby, liquid butter. This is not one of those. This is what Cali Chardonnay should taste like… or rather, if Paula Deen reduced her daily butter intake by one (or five) sticks and got a face transplant from Hayden Panettiere.
Red: Domaine des Nugues Beaujolais-Villages (~$13) – Before you freak out, this is not Beaujolais Nouveau. It’s grown-ass Beaujolais and my personal beverage of choice for the repast o’ gratitude. If you want the Jean-Claude Van Damme version, go into a wine shop and ask for “Cru” Beaujolais. It’ll cost you a few extra dead presidents, but you’ll reach a new level of wine geekdom, which you can then brag about to your friends and family.
*Bonus Wine: Bex Riesling (~$10) – Like a spoonful of sugar, a good Riesling helps the medicine go down (I recommend Xanax for family gatherings), in addition to pairing well with nearly every type of food you can possibly shovel into your pie hole. Including, you guessed it… pie.
And that is how you kick ass at Thanksgiving (drops mic, exits stage).
Bon Appétit, brokesters!