Toasting the Turkey: Seven Top Wines for a Perfect Thanksgiving 2013
Hopping around the city last week as I did my Thanksgiving wine shopping, I couldn't help but be reminded what a great time it is to be a wine lover in Houston. These days, as the city continues to become one of the top destinations in the U.S. for fine wine -- driving value and broadening the spectrum of wines that are available -- the choices and bargains are seemingly endless.
Photo by Jeremy Parzen. Because of its versatility, dry rosé wine -- or in this case "vin gris" ("gray wine" from red grapes) -- is a great choice for the Thanksgiving meal, with its myriad dishes and flavor combinations.
It wasn't always like this. In fact, when I moved to Texas five years ago, Houston had one of the most dismal wine scenes in the nation.
But thanks to an ever increasing number of independent importers and distributors and a sense of competition that has sparked new life in the old guard among Texas wine purveyors, we are experiencing -- yes, I know I've said it before but it's worth saying again -- a true wine revolution (and this comes from someone who travels and works regularly in markets across the U.S., including New York and San Francisco, the leading destinations in the country).
This year, I did all of my Thanksgiving wine shopping at the Houston Wine Merchant -- my favorite retailer in the city, also experiencing a revival of sorts thanks to buyer Antonio Gianola -- and Spec's, where I found some of my greatest values.
I'm really loving the current selection at the behemoth Spec's family (which includes Richard's). And the prices are the lowest in town (especially if you pay cash). But you have to pay close attention to vintages: In many instances at the mothership Spec's on Smith Street, I was thrilled to find some of my top picks, only to be disappointed when I discovered that the vintage was not a current release (this happened in the case of the Bonny Doon Vin Gris de Cigare, one of my all-time favorite Thanksgiving wines; Spec's still had the 2010 on the shelves, a wine that should have been drunk two years ago).