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Give Lotsa Thanks

For wine and time

Zoom. There went summer, then autumn. Time flies by, like the wind.

Wind? Nah, too slow. Sometimes I used to ask students how we could calculate the speed of time. The brightest lit up, thinking. Some whipped out their smartphones. An exercise in arithmetic followed: Earth is sorta spherical, about 24,000 around miles at the equator, makes a complete rotation in 24 hours, so the day goes by at 1,000 mph. Wind? Pah: never been a 1,000 mph wind. But that’s not all.

Earth revolves around the sun at about 67,000 mph. That’s how fast a season, a year, a life goes by. One Google source asks provocatively, “So you think you’re sitting still?”

No wonder, then, that days, weeks, months, whole years disappear — and we’re not getting into the speed of the galaxy itself or the expansion of the universe. I’m not Sheldon Cooper and this isn’t The Big Bang Theory

Suddenly, though, it’s time again to give thanks, to feast with fam ’n’ friends, eat roasted bird, drink, make merry. We’re going to need a little wine.

Let’s start light and bright, with a delightful aperitif, rather rare Italian unblended (but main grape in Soave), wearing the gold label of a “Small Vineyards Discovery” (importers famous for scouring the Mediterranean, seeking mindful growers and small producers of high-quality wines). Near Verona, they found Monte Tondo Garganega Frizzante 2015 ($10), spritzy-sparkling and delicate — flavors of lemon, almond, whiff of lime. Serve chilled (but not freezing) — and try not to shake the bottle before pulling the cork. Thank Lisa at Sundance for clues to this charmer.

Call us tradition-bound, but we really like serving roast turkey at a holiday feast and, after years of testing and testing (filthy work), we’ve decided that we like to drink a well-made gewürztraminer (don’t worry about pronunciation — just say guh-vertz, you’ll get help) with our “boid.” Among some very good wines, this year we chose Brooks 2015 Gewürztraminer ($14) from the Columbia Gorge; it’s got that distinctive grapefruit hint, just a whisper of sweetness to round off the acidity — yum!

Pinot noir is a notoriously fussy grape, yielding — sometimes, and arguably — the world’s most desirable wine. The wines are also notoriously expensive, the “best” costing more than a thousand bucks a bottle. Hence, good pinot noir at under $20 is unusual, a glad event. And anytime we can drink some pinot from one of Oregon’s best producers, we give lotsa thanks: Broadley 2015 Pinot Noir Willamette Valley is, according to Morgan Broadley, a “nice value.” Couldn’t agree more, and at $18 it’ll make your turkey smile — characteristic pinot noir flavors (black cherry dominates), evenly balanced, smooth drinking.

Uncle Artie likes his wines deeply red, boldly flavored. Pour him a glass of Cottonwood 2009 Syrah ($18), an Oregon winery getting tasty grapes from Yakima Valley; their wine is richly colored, spicy, delish.

Make note: Thanksgiving weekend is when many Oregon wineries open (including some open only then), often with special tasting events, music, food, hoopla. Go online for more info, then hit the road, designated driver behind the wheel, rolling to your faves. 

Thanks — for everything, especially time.