Thanksgiving Table: It's Okay to Drink Whites After Labor Day

Have you ever heard the old quote, "You can't wear white after Labor Day?" It's been said the rule was created by "etiquette authorities" during the 19th century to separate the old money elitists from the new money. The truth is white cotton and linens are cooler fabrics to wear in the summertime, and after Labor Day when vacation ended people went back to work wearing their professional dark greys and blue suits. 

If you still follow the old rule "No white after Labor Day," hopefully you don't ignore the great white wines and bubbles, and continue to "drink white after Labor Day"  - and for Thanksgiving, too. 

And speaking of "rules," for years I have read in wine and food magazines recommending Pinot Noir is the only wine to drink for Thanksgiving dinner. Wrong. Now I love a solid Oregon Pinot Noir from Stoller Family Estate and Domaine Drouhin. Sometimes I will venture to a Gamay, like a traditional Beaujolais Nouveau from Joseph Drouhin (if I can find it). However, there are other wines to consider - just like your menu. It's Thanksgiving after all with an abundance and a variety of food, so why not have an abundance and a variety of wine?

So, the star of the Thanksgiving table is usually the turkey, unless of course cousin Hypatia the vegan comes to visit. As your guest, you oblige her with a side of plant-based "Plurkey" roast, yet she doesn't question the healthy servings of gravy and dressing on her plate that was made with lots of poultry stock. 

Aunt Dorothy has announced she needs to go gluten-free for health reasons, so you also oblige her needs with a separate dish of dressing made with gluten-free bread. Everyone finally ignores her as she continues to ask if there is gluten in the mashed potatoes. Yet when she emphatically persists on removing the dirty dishes from the table, you walk into the kitchen catching Aunt Dorothy stuffing a leftover puff pastry canape, a croissant, and a double-crust piece of apple pie into her  - - piehole.

Grandma Blanche, the matriarch of the family glares at the bottles of wine at the table claiming with a turned-up nose and a frown, "I don't care for alcohol." After a bottle gets passed around the table several times and met with approval, Grandma Blanche finally says, "Maybe I will have a little taste." So a "little taste" is poured into her glass. She sips it and says, "Are you sure there is alcohol in this - wine? I can't taste any alcohol. Maybe I should try another glass... " 

If you're going to oblige all of these selective appetites, you might as well indulge your haughty sister-in-law Maleficent who has appointed herself a wine expert, while she reminds everyone at the table whenever a good bottle of Pinot Noir and Merlot comes her way she cannot drink red wine. She will remind everyone several times during the meal that she can only drink white wine because red wine has too many sulfites and causes her severe headaches the next morning. Wrong. White wine has more sulfites than red wine and those headaches? Most of us refer to those morning headaches as a hangover. 

What to do? What to do? Your Thanksgiving menu has already become a mishegaas, should your drink menu become one, too? Screw it. Fill the table with lots of bubbles! Champagne, 
Crémant, Cava, Sekt, well-made domestics, and toss in a few bottles of pink bubbles. Bubbly works with a variety of food from savory to sweet, and the acidic bubbles assist in cutting the rich fat on the palate. Yes, and you can also baste the turkey with bubbly - alone or mixed with melted butter or broth. The extra broth and pan juices with the bubbly will add a delicious flavor to the gravy. 

This assortment of European and domestic bubbly will impress all of the specialty eaters. Maybe. However, if you enjoy many glasses of bubbles, you_just_won't_care. 

Happy Turkey and Plurkey Day! 



Popular Posts