The Best Wine and Alcohol for Thanksgiving

Wines lined up in a nice little row at Le Caveau might feel intimidating in an overwhelming joy kind of way, but with just a little guidance, all this can be yours.
Thierry Plumettaz
Wines lined up in a nice little row at Le Caveau might feel intimidating in an overwhelming joy kind of way, but with just a little guidance, all this can be yours.
With all this mess and noise everywhere, take this week, or a couple of days at the very least, to imbibe and relax. Because if there’s anything we all could collectively use, it's a drink.

We reached out to a few local shops to see what they’re excited about for Thanksgiving, and they have some awesome picks. And we're not just saying that because one of the first ones sounds like Dave Chappelle made it. That’s how you buy wine, right? Anyway, we'll let the experts take over.

La Cave Warehouse

2263 Valdina St., Ste. 120 (Design District)

Rhonda Chandler is an owner at La Cave Warehouse, a boutique concierge retail wine store in the Design District. Customers can shop in the store or call ahead for curbside pickup or delivery. Here are her suggestions for your Thanksgiving feast.

Domaine de la Chapelle de Bois Fleurie Grand Pre 2015 ($23.99): "Fleurie Grand Pré is the classic workhorse wine of this estate, made from 100% Gamay. From vines with an average age of 40 years, this Fleurie undergoes a cuvaison between 10 and 15 days, the length of which depends on the underlying structure of the grapes from each specific vintage. The wine is generally supple, round and fruity, and, although delicious in its youth, it can support several years of age, after which additional nuance is found in both bouquet and flavor."

Domaine de La Rosière Vin de Savoie Rosé 2018 ($13.99): "The vines were grown on southwest-facing, limestone-clay slopes. Exceptional freshness and concentration, which derives from the unique blend of native grapes and the Alpine environment. It offers flavors and aromas of red cherry, strawberry, citrus, flowers and minerals. Around 1,000 cases [were] produced: 80% Gamay, 10% Mondeuse and 10% Pinot Noir. Vegan. Farming practices: sustainable. All of the vineyards have grass planted between the rows to reduce yields and create a healthy, natural ambiance, and only organic fertilizer is used. In early 2020, the domain will be Haute Valeur Environnementale certified."

Le Sec Reyne Vegneau 2016 ($23.99): "A tangy and fresh white with sliced apple and lemon aromas and flavors. Medium body. Pretty fruit and a delicious finish. Bright and enjoyable. The wine Le Sec De Rayne Vigneau is a white wine produced in the Bordeaux region of France by Château de Rayne Vigneau. This 2016 vintage comes from the Bordeaux appellation and is made from Sauvignon Blanc grapes. Its ideal tasting temperature is 11 degrees."

The Lusch List

Courtney Luscher, who held things down at The Grape in East Dallas in her prior life, recently launched a resource for local wine lovers, and she shared her Thanksgiving wine recommendations with us. We picked a few from her newsletter that caught our eye:

Cieto Chiarli Lambrusco di Sorbara Vecchia Modena 2018, Italy, $13 at Jimmy’s Food Store: "A versatile dry frizzante (lightly sparkling) option that has vibrant red berry fruit and tangy acidity. This Lambrusco is unbreakable and will pair with just about any dish you throw at it."

Li Veli Orion Primitivo, 2017, Puglia, Italy, $11 at Jimmy’s Food Store: "Don’t buy zinfandel this year; instead, try its 'almost genetically identical twin.' This value-driven dry red is ripe and fresh with jammy red fruit, spice notes, good acidity and medium tannins. That dark meat will love it."

Pedernales Viognier, 2017, High Plains, Texas, $17 at Pogo’s: "Let’s remember to support those in our own 'backyard.' Here is a delicious and great example of this varietal that grows well in Texas. A bright and fruity wine with ripe stone fruit, vanilla and spice notes, which is sure to please your traditional chardonnay drinkers."

Le Caveau

718 N. Buckner Blvd. (White Rock)

Le Caveau is open for normal business hours, and they’re doing curbside pickup. (Visit the website for details.) Prior to opening this spot, owner Thierry Plumettaz managed the wine cellar at The Mansion on Turtle Creek and Watel’s on McKinney Avenue. He’s a first-level master sommelier and below are his suggestions, including what he considers a steal for a higher-price-point wine. 

Il Monticello Vermentino 2019 ($24.99): "This is a very small producer in Liguria. The winery is 100% organic and practices minimal intervention in the cellar. The wine has a delicate white flower fragrance, William pear and citrus notes."

Lunaria Pinot Grigio Landae 2018 ($18.99): "This producer is Biodynamic-certified and only uses natural sulfites. The winery is located in Abruzzo in the city of Orsogna. The bottles, labels are made from recycled materials."

Domaine Maby Prima Donna Tavel 2019 ($19.99): "Small producer located in Tavel, France. This is a more color extracted rosé with a bigger mid-palate, which pairs well with the traditional Thanksgiving meal."

Domaine des Fonds Saint-Amour 2018 ($19.99): "Beautiful property in Beaujolais. I always like the Gamay varietal with the turkey. The wine never overtakes the flavor of the dish."

"If you want to go to a higher price point, I recommend Louis Jadot Pernand-Vergelesses, Clos de la Croix de Pierre, 2017 ($49.99). This wine should really be priced at around $75 per bottle. This is a vineyard that belongs to Les Heritiers Louis Jadot. Being 100% pinot noir, the wine has an elegance like no other."

Uptown Liquors

3128 McKinney Ave. (Uptown)

Uptown Liquors is known for exceptional customer service and a high-quality selection. Marketing manager Sam Swisher gave us a few suggestions, including liquid boozy dessert.

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Table decor we can all swoon over.
Sam Swisher Uptown Liquors
Austin Hope Cabernet Sauvignon: "Austin Hope is part of the Wagner family that started the famous Caymus Vineyards out of Napa Valley. This wine out of Paso Robles is a store favorite and one of the most quality cabs on the market."

Bear Flag Zinfandel: "This is a high-quality, highly rated zinfandel that is very rare to find on a retail shelf. Zin lovers will need to come try this unique varietal out of Sonoma County."

Rose Gold: "This is a newer rosé that we have very recently started carrying. Made in France, but all Dallas-owned, a great local option for all the rosé drinkers out there."

Pelle Legna Merlot: "This is a very unique merlot out of Tyler, Texas. It contains bright fruit notes and unique characteristics for those interested in trying a local Texas wine."

Ole Smoky Apple Pie Moonshine: "One of the best-selling flavors of moonshine from the Ole Smoky Distillery outside of the Smoky Mountains. This apple pie blend is the perfect flavor to enjoy during your Thanksgiving celebration."

Pogo's Wine and Spirits

5360 W. Lovers Lane (North Dallas)

If you need something a little stronger (and that’s perfectly normal, saying that for a friend), Simon Taylor at Pogo’s sent over a few things he has his eye on.

Koval Cranberry Gin Liqueur ($32.99): "The base spirit to this cranberry liqueur is Koval's Dry Gin, which is a particularly soft and floral gin, so the liqueur should not scare those who are not gin fans. The liqueur has a beautiful balance of the tartness of cranberry and a restrained sweetness."

Trakal ($35.99): "This is a new spirit from Patagonia, a brandy distilled from local apples, crab apples and pears, and vapor infused with the essential oils of native herbs. This is fruity, herbaceous and slightly sweet, and mixes wonderfully as a substitute for gin or brandy."

Whistlepig Farmstock Rye Edition 3: "The first of the Whistlepig Farmstock release composed of over 50% of their own Vermont distilled rye, as well as utilizing Vermont oak and water, this has a broader, more complex palate than the Whistlepig releases that consist entirely of sourced whiskey."