You know the drill. You’ve been invited to the orphan’s Thanksgiving. Or a classy friend’s Thanksgiving who has, you know, real plates. And you’ve been tasked with bringing wine — or told you don’t need to bring anything but can’t show up empty handed. Last year’s wine giving guide was pretty popular so here it is, updated for a new season!
I only went to one liquor store this year — and not because all our wine and liquor stores in Borderstan aren’t amazing, but because this one is centrally located, right next to a metro stop, and never — ever — lets me down. Oh and their wine selection is always at a reasonable price point.
Connecticut Avenue Wine & Spirits, located one block north of Dupont Circle at Connecticut Avenue and Q Street NW is where you’ll find all these selections of wine.
All our wine recommendations are brought to you by Alcaly (Al) Lo. He’s the beverage consultant at Connecticut Avenue Wine & Spirits… aka the guy who helps me when I walk in clueless and say, “I”m having fish tonight?! What do I get?” Al is knowledgeable, helpful and always good natured. Don’t be afraid to wonder in and ask him questions.
Let’s Start with the White Wines
Whites are great with Turkey, gravy and mashed potatoes, cookies and Thanksgiving sides like bread stuffings and squash dishes. They’re universally appealing when you’re facing an unknown crowd and just need something everyone will love.
A bottle of the Prochaine Chardonnay hits the spot for the girliest wine drinker and the pseudo-sophisticated palette of your Yelp happy friends. It’s unoaked which means it’s more buttery than woody in the finish. You know what I mean. It doesn’t feel like you’re licking a tree. ($13.99)
The Adelsheim Pinot Gris is, I am assured, a crisp white with a mineral finish to it. There’s two ways to interpret mineral to me, one is that it is slightly acidic, the other that it has an almost fizzy finish to it. Alcaly tells me it’s the former with this one so it’ll be good for cutting cloyingly sweet desserts like pumpkin pies and cheesecakes. ($18.99)
On to the Reds
The Domaine de Berane Cotes de Ventoux Les Blaques got the woman who works at the shop so excited she jumped out from behind the counter to find the bottle for me. It’s a French red made of Syrah and Grenache grapes. It’ll be full-bodied and rich. ($17.99)
Every table needs a lighter, fruity red for the in-between folks. Don’t want anything to “spicy” as I say, something with a smooth finish that feels easy in the mouth? Try the A to Z Oregon Pinot Noir. My friend raves about Oregon reds and so far I’ve never been disappointed. ($21.99)
Bring on the Bubbles
I asked for just one recommendation for an off-beat sparkling wine and Alcaly came back with Bailly Lapierre Brut. It’s a dry sparkling wine made from pinot grapes. ($18.99)
So there you have it. You can ask for the wines by name or, do like I do, and show them a picture of the label from the photo above and say, “I want that one.”