Thanksgiving is truly an American holiday when we celebrate our good tidings. The best way to do that is with a nod to God (sorry, atheists) for giving us the very special gifts of family and, yes, wine.
Seven days from today, I'll join with the matriarch of the Campanini family, my mother Dorothy, and the patriarch, Uncle Sully, for a great, three-hour feast of turkey and all the trimmings. Mom, who is 93, will make stuffed mushrooms and glazed carrots. Uncle Sully, 95, will sit at the head of the table where my Dad used to sit and be the first to lift his fork. My twin brother John will say "Grace". Then it's mangia, mangia, mangia.
My sister-in-law Kathy and the Wine Goddess, my wife Mary Lee, will have cooked the turkey, butternut squash, sweet potatoes, peas and mushrooms, and prepared a nice Gorgonzola cheese salad, plus a meat antipasto. The'll even make a small side dish of pasta for Uncle Sully.
So what's my job? I'll play sommelier and bring the wines.
We'll drink a La Marca Extra Dry Prosecco di Valdobbiadene, $14, with appetizers; a Cambria (Julia's Vineyard) Pinot Noir, $23, with the second course; and finish with a main course beauty, a 2006 'R' Rockblock Reserve Syrah from Walla Walla Washington, $36.
I've asked three local wine merchants to come up with their own red and white suggestions for your dinner table.
Have a great Thanksgiving and drink responsibly. Here's the list:
Andrea DiFiore, manager Andover Liquors
- Westport Brut, Massachusetts, $29.99 -- A real solid white wine and it's nice to introduce people to bubbles and local vintners. Great as an aperitif too.
- Red Newt Cellars Semi-dry Riesling 2011, Finger Lakes, N.Y, $11.99 -- Very crisp and supple in citrusy flavors, it goes well with a variety of foods like the holiday smorgasbord.
- Robert Sinskey Abraxas 2011, $39.99 -- Spiced warmed apple notes make this blend a perfect complement to turkey and stuffing.
- The Shatter 2010, France, $29.99 -- A succulent, cherry infused Grenache with an enduring finish. Fit for turkey and all the trimmings.
- Belle Glos Pinot Noir, Napa Valley, $44.99 -- Think elegance, full mouthfeel and tons of tasty and tart red fruit.
- Il Campo Red, Central Coast, $19.99 -- A food friendly wine with a crisp Sangiovese backbone that makes every course a fabulous delight.
- Made by 'G' Sparkling Gamay NV, France, $21.99 -- A fun, deep red sparkler that's a huge zesty surprise when people taste it for the first time.
Jay Cahill, wine manager, Harrington's Liquors, Chelmsford
- Bourgogne Danjean Berthoux Pinot Noir, France, $16.95 -- A nice, medium-bodied taste from Burgundy where they know what's best with a game bird.
- Garnacha de Fuego, Old Vines, 2010, Spain, $9.95 -- Concentrated black fruit flavors burst on the palate in this remarkably priced, overachieving wine.
- Cambria Estate Winery, Julia's Vineyard, 2010 Pinot Noir, $22.95 -- A California gem that is rich in plum, red cherry and cola.
- Zolo Gentil "Hugel", Alsace, $12.95 -- A dry, expressive wine that is quite refreshing with appetizers or pre-dinner sipping.
- Marc Bredif Vovuray 2009, France, $19.95 -- From the Loire Valley comes this clean, golden wine that releases scents of pineapple and lemon zest.
- Truchard Rousanne 2010, Napa Valley, $19.95 -- A creamy texture stimulates the palate and the citrusy finish sparks a pleasant finish. Something different for a big meal.
Dickie Rourke, Tutto Bene Wine & Cheese Cellars, Lowell
- 2010 Wilson Daniels Pinot Noir, Central Coast, $10.99 -- Exotic Asian and spice flavors with a silky body and smooth finish. A solid bargain.
- Willamette Valley Whole Clusters Pinot Noir, Oregon, $19.99 -- A vibrant, cool climate wine structured to go four quarters with a rabid football turkey day crowd.
- Stoplman Syrah, Central Coast, $27.99 -- Believe it or not, this dark purple palate pleaser will be good with the main meal and even better with second-day leftovers.
- Aquinas Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley, $17.99 -- Having roast beef on Thanksgiving? Here's a bold cabernet worth twice the price of the bottle.
- Swallow Gewurtztraminer, New Zealand, $9.99 -- Adds a bit more intensity to T-Day foods, but it finishes in an off-dry style. A lot of fun at this price.
- Mt. Beautiful Sauvignon Blanc, New Zealand, $19.99 -- A fine aperitif of crisp, lime and passion fruit flavors.
- Berlucchi Cuvee 61 Rose, Italy, $17.99 -- A 75% Chardonnay and 25% Pinot Noir blend with emphatic notes of fruit and fine acidity.
- Balbi Brachetto D'Acqui, Italy, $14.99 -- Hey, don't forget the pumpkin pie and all the desserts. A sweet, soft, delicate wine for after-dinner treats.
Read more at http://blogs.lowellsun.com/winenovice. Follow Jim Campanini on Twitter @suneditor.