Have a cup of cheer

The holidays are the best wine time of the year, when even people who don’t drink wine figure it’s OK to have a glass or two. And, perhaps, if they enjoy that glass or two, they’ll drink wine more often.

Anne Amie Cuvée A Amrita ($15) Oregon

A lot of wine writers don’t like writing about holiday wine. They think it’s beneath them, too pedestrian for a writer who should be above all of that. That is just plain wrong-headed; the holidays are the best wine time of the year, when even people who don’t drink wine figure it’s OK to have a glass or two. And, perhaps, if they enjoy that glass or two, they’ll drink wine more often.

Here are a few ideas for wine for this holiday season:

• Red: Ridge Three Valleys ($20) is a spicy, almost sophisticated zinfandel from one of the best producers in California and is a great turkey wine. Rene Barbier Mediterranean Red ($5) is a simple but well-made Spanish wine that delivers more than $5 worth of value.

• White wine: Anne Amie Cuvée A Amrita ($15) is an Oregon blend with 10 grapes that delivers the quality I expect from Anne Amie, fresh and lively with a hint of sweetness, and is another turkey possibility. Domaine Guillaman ($10) is from the Gascon region of France, and resembles sauvignon blanc more than most of the other $10 Gascon wines that I enjoy, but it is still well worth drinking.

• Sparkling wine: I’ll have more on this next month, but if you want some bubbly for Thanksgiving, almost any Spanish cava will do. They’re inexpensive — between $7 and $15 — and are food-friendly and very easy to drink. Cristalino and Segura Viudas are longtime favorites, but this is a category where you can buy something you don’t know and will be fine.

 

Ask the wine guy

Q. Are there wine pairing rules for Thanksgiving?

A. Dozens, but you can safely ignore them. Serve what you like, keeping in mind what your guests like. The idea is to have fun, and not to intimidate anyone.

ASK The Wine Guy taste@advocatemag.com

 

With your wine: Thanksgiving leftovers

Welcome to our third annual Thanksgiving leftover potpourri, because the world does not need yet another recipe for the holidays. Instead, let’s clean out that refrigerator.

• Turkey pizza: You can even make your own crust using any basic bread recipe. Just turn the oven up as high as it will go, top the raw dough with leftover turkey, whatever cheese is in the house, and any vegetables in the fridge, and bake until the crust is brown. Sauce is optional, but green salsa would do very well.

• Sweet potato biscuits: Add 1/2 cup or more of mashed sweet potatoes to your favorite biscuit recipe, and reduce the liquid in the recipe by the amount of sweet potatoes. Form and bake as usual.

• Turkey quesadillas: This is one of those “Why didn’t I think of that before?” moments. All you need is leftover turkey, cheese, pickled jalapenos and flour tortillas. And maybe some green salsa.

• Turkey rice noodle stir-fry: Soak the rice noodles (the wider style works better) according to package directions. Sauté onion, garlic, ginger and bell pepper in a wok or large skillet, and then add a couple of tablespoons of hoisin sauce, a teaspoon or two of lime juice, and soy sauce. Stir again, correct for seasoning, and then add cubed leftover turkey and noodles and mix carefully until heated through.


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