It's that time of year again: The holidays mean dinner parties and gift giving.
And that means... wine!
Gary Vaynerchuk of winelibrary.com offers some vintage suggestions to suit any occasion:
• Lost your job? Try Bob's African Pinotage 2006 — $8.99
Gary says: "If you've lost your job you're not going to want to spend a lot of money, but you're going to want to give something you can feel good about. Bob's African is an amazing project; 10 percent of the proceeds go to HIV/AIDS research, and while I'm a sucker for charity the wines themselves also bring thunder. The Pinotage is flat out delicious and just slightly sweet, so it's a great gift for even casual wine drinkers."
• Meeting someone's parents? Try J Sparkling Brut Cuvee — $23.99
Gary says: "I love bubbles. They're a great ice breaker and always welcomed, especially around the holidays. This California sparkling wine is more complex than many French Champagnes you'll see for one and a half or twice the price and will make you look like a hero when meeting the parents for the first time."
• Can't stand the in-laws, but want to impress? Try Domaine Hetszolo Tokaj 3 Puttonyos 2000 — $17.99
Gary says: "Any time you are going to be around people who you have a touchy relationship with, my go-to play is dessert wine. EVERYONE can put aside their differences at dessert and the riptide rush of apricots, honey, and butterscotch that this Hungarian Tokaji offers will have everyone smiling."
Picking a wine for Thanksgiving can be a challenge because there are so many foods on the table. The key to picking a wine to match this smorgasbord is versatility.
Here are four delicious wines that bring serious thunder and are perfect Thanksgiving options:
• Valdesil Montenovo Godello 2007 — $9.99
Gary says: "This Spanish white offers fresh citrus on the gorgeous nose, loads of fresh peach juice on the mid-palate and just the slightest hint of residual sugar at the finish. It screams versatility; it has nice acidity and will mate with everything on your Thanksgiving table."
• Vi De Nulles Negre 2006 — $7.99
Gary says: "This completely un-oaked red is a great crossover option for Beaujolais drinkers. Juicy and easy to drink without being sweet, you can even serve this baby slightly chilled."
• Starry Night Lodi Zinfandel 2006 — $11.98
Gary says: "Well structured but not too heavy, this Zin features dark fruit flavors and that classic zest I'm looking for: pepper, spice, even a little minty flavor on the back end. Really sings with food."
• Pieve Del Vescovo Piovano 2004 — $9.99
Gary says: "This jazzy little guy from Umbria needs 45 min to open and then POW! Loaded with classic red fruit, this wine has a funny little finish that makes you want to drink more and more... a great value."