As Thanksgiving approaches, a man's thoughts turn to family gatherings, historical retrospection, andÂ…Spain? Celebrate our nation's rich heritage with a bottle of another country's rich heritage: the wines of Rioja.
Spain's oldest, largest, and most prestigious grape region, Rioja is known as the "Land of 1001 Wines" -- like Minnesota, except there's little prestige in drinking lake water. To start your holiday sipping, pour a glass of Crianza -- a lighter vintage aged one year in oak barrels. It matches perfectly with cheese plates, shrimp, croquettes, and other pre-feast snacks you tell yourself you won't fill up on, but'll devour anyway, along with a heaping portion of self-respect. For meal-time, move on to the vanilla-tinged Reserva or the smokey, heavier Gran Reserva, each providing a perfect accompaniment to roast turkey, and the autumnal veggies you'll end up discreetly feeding to the dog.
Best of all, you don't even need a national holiday to enjoy Rioja: right now, you can sign up to win a wine party for you and twenty friends, staffed by Choice Productions NYC, which'll provide a model as the co-host. With women so comely refilling your glass and laughing at your jokes, you'll feel thankful even if your wine/model party falls on Simchat Torah.