Welcome to the final frenzy before Thanksgiving actually arrives. If you didn't heed the advice I gave you last week and are now dreading the thought of parsing through your local wine shop's shelves, here's your guide to the save-the-day bottles you'll need for tomorrow. All under $25.
Yalumba Y Series Viognier, $13
This award-winning, Australian viognier is on the fresher, lighter end of the viognier spectrum. It shows all the unique characteristics of this exotic variety without being too rich on the palate. Look for aromas of orange blossom with fresh ginger, hints of honeysuckle, apricot and white tea.
Domaine Rosier "Terre de Villelongue," $16
This sparkling wine from Limoux in southern France has absolutely no business being as good as it is for this price. Made from a blend of chardonnay, chenin blanc and pinot noir, it's full of bright and citrusy notes of orange blossom and lemon cream.
Scarpetta Timido Brut Rosé, $18
I always err on the side of bubbles, and this, with its salmon pink color and pillowy texture, is still, I think, one of the best value bottles you'll find in the state. The flavors are light and airy, skewing toward wafting notes of strawberry and raspberry. How ever many bottles you think you'll need, double it.
Pierre Sparr Gewurztraminer Grande Reserve, $23
The Alsace region of France is known for its lovely, perfumed white wines. Maison Pierre Sparr was established by the Sparr family in 1680. This gewurztraminer is full-bodied and rich, with refreshing notes of lychee, geranium, satay spice and orange zest. Can't find the gewurztraminer? Their pinot gris will do the trick!
Borsao Tres Picos Garnacha, $22
You'd think that, what with Thanksgiving being such an American tradition, we'd want to stick with American wines, and -- sure -- if that's your thing, go for it, but this bottle from Spain has been my "I need a bottle that should please just about everyone" pick for years now. Garnacha, also known as grenache in France and California, is the perfect, fruity foil for the Thanksgiving table. Fruity enough to enliven the driest of turkeys and bold enough to stand up to the juiciest of hams. (Sorry, ham wins as the superior holiday protein for me.). Look for notes of cherry, vanilla bean, plum jam and coffee.
Clos la Coutale Cahors, $22
Argentina (deservedly) gets most of the world's attention when it comes to malbec, but this bottling from the grape's ancestral home in France (where it goes by the name "côt") shouldn't be overlooked. It's lush and juicy and just begging to be paired with traditional sage stuffing. Pop the cork an hour or so before your meal begins. That'll give it time to open up and for notes of leather and dried herbs to emerge behind wafts of cherry cola and dried figs.
Vietti Barbera d'Asti Tre Vigne, $23
Barbera is something like the bridesmaid of Italian wine grapes. It never gets the hype of nebbiolo or sangiovese, though it often offers a better price-to-quality ratio for entry-level wines. This one from Italian powerhouse Vietti has soft, almost dusty tannins and an unmistakable earthiness. If you like heavier California pinot noirs, this'll be up your alley.
As always, you can see what I'm drinking on Instagram at @sethebarlow and send your wine questions and quibbles to email@example.com