Five Great Thanksgiving Wines Under $20 and Where to Get Them

Oh where to start ...
Oh where to start ... Lauren Drewes Daniels
Two things to know about buying wine for Thanksgiving: First, wine geeks make it much more difficult than it needs to be. You’ll hear a lot about proper pairings and pinot noir this and chardonnay that, but feel free to ignore it. Wine for Thanksgiving should complement the holiday, not control it.

Second, store shelves may not be as well-stocked this year, thanks to the pandemic and what are being called “supply chain-related issues.” What that means is that the world’s transport system is a mess, and it’s not as easy to ship wine to the U.S. from elsewhere as it was two years ago. And even domestic producers are having difficulty getting some wine to market.

Still, there should be enough to go around. These five wines will get you started:
click to enlarge Starting on left: 1) Cantina di Sorbara L’Onesta, 2) Cellier des Dauphins Les Dauphins Reserve Rosé, 3) El Coto Blanco, 4) Broadbent Vinho Verde, 5) McPherson Cellars Tre Colore - IMAGES COURTESY OF CANTINA DI SORBARA, CELLIER DES DAUPHINS, EL COTO, BROADBENT, MCPHERSON CELLARS
Starting on left: 1) Cantina di Sorbara L’Onesta, 2) Cellier des Dauphins Les Dauphins Reserve Rosé, 3) El Coto Blanco, 4) Broadbent Vinho Verde, 5) McPherson Cellars Tre Colore
Images Courtesy of Cantina di Sorbara, Cellier des Dauphins, El Coto, Broadbent, McPherson Cellars
Cantina di Sorbara L’Onesta
About $15, available at Pogo’s Wine and Spirits (5360 W Lovers Lane, Suite 200) and Jimmy’s Food Store (4901 Bryan St.)

This is a sparkling Italian red wine with a surprising quality. It’s just sweet enough so that you'll notice if you're paying attention, and the sour cherry and raspberry fruit only adds to the enjoyment. Just the thing for Thanksgiving dinner.

Cellier des Dauphins Les Dauphins Reserve Rosé
About $11, available at Central Market (several locations)

Top-notch French pink that does everything it should do, and then a little more. There is red berry fruit, but it’s not too fruity or too jammy and it has a little bit of interest that other similarly priced rosés don’t have. Think Thanksgiving leftovers.

El Coto Blanco
About $11, available at Total Wine (several locations)

This Spanish white is made with a grape called viura, which is neither chic nor trendy. That’s because it produces simple, quality wines, and we can’t be seen drinking those, can we? It’s tart, with a mix of lemon and lime fruit, but also very crisp and refreshing. Perfect for anyone who prefers the stuffing to the turkey.

Broadbent Vinho Verde
About $9, available at Central Market (several locations)

Vinho verde is a Portuguese white wine that is a bit fizzy, can be sweet, and is a marvelous food wine. Broadbent’s version is the standard by which most vinhos are judged, and it rarely disappoints. Look for tart green apple fruit and just a bit more than a hint of sweetness. Serve it well chilled — more than acceptable if you want a glass of wine while the turkey is roasting.

McPherson Cellars Tre Colore
About $12, available at Goody Goody (several locations)

Full disclosure: when this Texas red blend was first released, I told winemaker Kim McPherson it had the dumbest name I’d ever heard. So, of course, it has been one of his best wines ever since. It’s fruity, but not sweet (cherries and berries?), with terrific balance and even some earthiness. Call it deceptively simple, and serve it to people who don’t think Texas wine is worth drinking.
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Jeff Siegel
Contact: Jeff Siegel