Wines for Friendsgiving

How to make sure your Friendsgiving is more awesome with the right wine

Thanksgiving is an awesome time of year, and probably the best holiday I can think of. It is about humility and thanks, a far cry from the other holidays we have in our culture. But to me one of my favorite parts of Thanksgiving comes either before or after that Thursday afternoon coma inducing feast. To me the best part of Thanksgiving is Friendsgiving, a chance to feast again but also be with people you choose. So if you are going to do Friendsgiving right, you are going to have to find the right wines to go with your festivities. With a little help from my friends (especially my girlfriend Caroline) here are some tips to choose the right wines as well as a couple of wines you should look for to take to the party.

Turkey, friends, wine. What are we missing?

Turkey, friends, wine. What are we missing?

Tip 1 - Friendsgiving is for the family you choose

The beauty of Friendsgiving is the people you include in it. For whatever reason you have you are choosing to get drunk and eat stupid amounts of food with these people. These are the people you want to be around, the people you feel happy being around. Wine is social and meant to be shared with friends, so you really want to take something worth sharing. Wines you know or are excited to try are perfect, you know what makes you happy and you want to be sharing with those close to you. It just makes sense!

Tip 2 - Don't be super pretentious with your choices

The sure fire way to ruin any Friendsgiving is by bringing a wine that is super complex and then getting frustrated because your friends don't appreciate it the way you do. Hey, not everybody is a certified wino and nobody really cares about how advanced your WSET diploma is. People jus want to enjoy the party and like wine a lot. If you are in charge of wine get a few bottles of something you know everybody will enjoy. If you want to bring something a little more unique make sure it is easy to compare to something else so people. 

Tip 3 - Let the tone of the party set your budget

Are you going to a Friendsgiving that is going to have 20 plus people there? Or is the dinner going to be a little bit more intimate with your closest friends? That could be the biggest influence over what you are going to bring. You might think that you could get away with sneaking that awesome bottle of Bordeaux into a big party so you can share it with one or two friends but it will all end in tears when your one friend's drunk boyfriend chugs half the bottle on a bet. You might be better off taking a couple of bottles of Underwood Pinot Noir to a big party. Intimate parties are a better place to break out that bottle of wine you have been holding on to for a special occasion. 

Tip 4 - If you can't decide here are a few wines I recommend

  • Pinot Noir - Everybody loves Pinot Noir. Friends who know wine will feel like its just right for the setting whatever it is, assuming you spent an appropriate amount. Friends who don't know much about wine will know its Pinot Noir and the friends who know nothing will get a good intro to what the right wine at the right time can be like.
  • Beaujolais - It might be just me, but nothing says party wine like Beaujolais. Like Pinot Noir its light enough for a red wine to be enjoyed by everyone. Great wine to bring if people are going to eat and drink a fair amount, as would be expected.
  • Riesling - Okay so not everybody loves red wine, or some just prefer white wines. Riesling is a great choice for white wine lovers. Getting a couple of dry Rieslings will compliment the food and the atmosphere of a big party, and it can quench the thirst of those who are getting cozy at an intimate dinner. In that same vain you could also try some Gewurtzraminer and maybe even a Gruner Veltliner. Most of these wines should be really budget friendly as well.
  • Pet-Nat - You're getting together with friends and going to have a good time. You need bubbles. You need sparkling! Champagne can be a good choice, and maybe a little pricy, but Pettillant Naturel wines can also be a great find. They will definitely spark (ha!) conversations but good Pet-Nat wines will also be super approachable for your friends.