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Holiday wine, made easy

Hint No. 1: Think versatility. No. 2: Buy by the case.

“Picking a wine should never be an occasion for self-flagellation,” said Eric Asimov in The New York Times, especially not over the holiday season. BV Coastal Estates’ 2007 sauvignon blanc is a “$9 wonder,” and no one could object to a “not-quite-dry 2006 Savennieres from Domaine du Closel, or a 2007 Muscadet Clos Des Briords from Domaine de la Pepiere. The meal by definition is “a riot of contrasts,” so when picking wines think “versatility and plentitude.”

There are plenty of “Alsatian goodies” with the versatility to do the trick, said E.S. Brown in WineGeeks. A Pinot Gris, specifically, because “the mix of body, weight, spice and rich fruits stand up well I think to the abundance of riches” on a Thanksgiving or Christmas table. And “Riesling is one of the most versatile grapes around, and can pair with such a wide range of foods that magic is sure to be had.”

Dry Rieslings, yes, said Food & Wine, or Austrian Gruner Veltliner, or American Rhone-style blends, or a nice Pinot Noir. What you want for a meal with turkey, ham, and multiple side dishes full of competing flavors is a few “well-balanced wines that aren’t too extreme (not wildly sweet, not wildly tannic, etc.)” so you’ll have plenty of nice pairings. And, since quantity is a factor over the holidays, buy by the case or find a tasty bargain under $12 from Spain or South America.

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