Because Pinot Grigio only works for Ramona

When you’re not bringing a side dish and a store-bought pie sounds about as bad as it looks, your safest bet for Thanksgiving dinner is a great bottle of wine.

But let’s be honest: we all choose our wines by the label and pray whatever we buy is not complete cat piss. Am I right?

Well, I think that’s a shitty method.

So this year, I did a little tipsy research and selected some great red wines to help you choose what to get the next time you’re in the store thinking, “I have no fucking idea.”

Now, most sommeliers claim that white wine pairs best with poultry because it brings out the citrus and herbal flavors of chicken and turkey dishes. While that is true, I say if you like red wine, drink red wine. Don’t glug Pinot Grigio just because you think it’s “correct.” That’s nonsense.

Instead, drink what you like. And if your smart-ass cousin makes a comment, just spill a glass on him. Red wine stains quite well.

Alright, here we go:

2015 Alamos Malbec
2015 Alamos Malbec – I always have a bottle of this on-hand. It’s a mellow Argentinian table wine that pairs well with fruit, cheese and—my favorite appetizer—shit-talking. The first sip packs a bit of a bite, but once the tannins settle down, it’s quite nice. I recommend this one served slightly chilled.

2010 Alterra Merlot
2012 Alterra Merlot – I find most Merlot rather dry, but this is a nice change of pace. With sweet front notes of cherry and black pepper, the flavors evolve as you sip, blooming into a full-bodied bouquet with a smooth, smokey finish. There’s a warmness to this one that is strong without engulfing the senses. I recommend this one at room temperature with a clean palate.

2015 Porta Pinot Noir Reserva
2015 Porta Pinot Noir Reserva – Creamy and smooth, this Chilean Pinot Noir will turn any occasional sipper into a certified lush. Its subtle notes of cherry and strawberry add richness to the grapes while keeping the palate open for stronger food flavors. Pace yourself because you can easily drink this wine course after course. I recommend opening the bottle about 10 minutes before tasting so the wine can aerate.

2016 Flichman Malbec Misterio
2016 Flichman Malbec Misterio – The soft velvet taste of black plums and violets adds dimension to this lush Argentinian red. Of all of the wines on this list, the Misterio tastes the most traditional. When someone asks for red wine, this is often what they expect, and therefore, you should serve it to them generously. I recommend this one room temperature.

2014 Vistamar Sepia Carmenere Reserva
2014 Vistamar Sepia Carménère Reserva – Silky notes of raspberry and chocolate fill this sweet Chilean blend, giving it deep flavors despite its balanced, medium body. It has a slightly aromatic quality with just a bit of effervescence, which is quite refreshing with after-dinner sweets. While Carménère grapes are very similar to Merlot grapes, I think this wine differs quite a lot from the aforementioned Alterra. I recommend this one served with your favorite fruit dessert.

Photo by Nicholas Trobiano