Bon Appetit recommends 2009 Liberty School Cabernet
The BA Turkey Day Wine Guide: All Killer, All $15 or Less, by Dara Moskowitz
Knowing even one single thing about wine puts you way ahead of the crowd on Thanksgiving, also known as the day your Aunt Judy confesses total ignorance about wine, your mother agrees with her, and your jerky cousin who spent a semester in Florence opines that all the wine is better in Europe--but then you walk in the door with a couple of terrific selections, looking like a hero, and, unknown to all, keeping your finances nicely under control.
That's where we come in. All of these wines have sticker prices of $15 or less. They also meet the two key requirements of Turkey Day wines: First, they pair with the rainbow of flavors that appear as part of the Thanksgiving spread, from turkey to chipotle sweet potatoes to pecan stuffing. Second, they're crowd pleasers. Thanksgiving wines need to suit the whole table, so this is not the time to pull out the obscure French bottle that boasts notes of tar and pine mulch and appeals only to sommeliers bored with life and in search of the wine world's two-headed frogs. This is the time to make everyone happy. Which doesn't mean you can't have superelite tastes and also please your guests. Peruse this list and you'll find something for everyone, from the most advanced wine enthusiast to the most intimidated novice.
Best of all, though, you'll find something for you. The top criteria by which all these wines were judged were sheer deliciousness and the ability to amuse and entertain no matter which football team is winning and what your least-favorite relative has to say about the sweater you're wearing.
Liberty School 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon, Paso Robles, California ($14)
* Why it's delicious: Rich blackberry and mellow cola flavors unite in a silky, harmonious, and utterly crowd-appealing way.
* Why it's cool: It tastes like a $50 California Cabernet and not too terribly different from a $100 California cult-Cabernet, yet it costs nothing like those.
* Snob appeal, to wine snobs: Low. Knowing that Liberty School Cabernet is good is like knowing that 30 Rock is good. People know.
* Snob appeal, to the clueless: Tremendous. Every wine newbie in your family will want to write down the name of this one. Some will tell you they didn't know Cabernet Sauvignon could be so delicious; others will tell you they didn't know ordinary people could even afford Cabernet Sauvignon, and did you get a raise?
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