Wines For Your Upstate Thanksgiving: Keep it Bright

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Nearly a year ago my wife and I moved Upstate and opened a neighborhood wine shop in downtown Kingston. We curate a selection of wines made almost exclusively in the most traditional manner—with little added, little taken away. We favor the underdogs: small scale family farms and idiosyncratic characters of the wine world above all else.

In less than a year, we’ve been overwhelmed by the local community’s support and the willingness of others to express their embrace by opening their homes and sharing their table.

The Upstate table has solidified burgeoning friendships and given us a plethora of life-affirming homemade meals and polished-off bottles of wine. From writer Sam Osterhaut’s divine veggie meatballs over Persian rice to artist Carmen Lizardo’s mashed potato omelets, we’ve felt loved, welcomed and inspired by the tables we’ve had the pleasure to frequent in the Hudson Valley.

When it comes to your Upstate Thanksgiving there will likely be a number of different palates to please. Whether you’re serving an oversized, buttery turkey with all the traditional accouterments, or, as we will this year, going against the grain and preparing whatever your heart desires, choosing holiday table wine is all about context.

On Thanksgiving, we want to cut through the heavier, more generous wintry fair with bright, light and refreshing wines. We’ve curated five selections for your Thanksgiving table replete with a decidedly youthful zest; they won’t leave you feeling semi-comatose or somber. Treat yourself to an extra glass, if you please.

These wines are perfect for washing down your second or third helping.

NV Venturini Baldini Lambrusco Rosso
Emiglia-Romagna, Italy
Not your Nanny’s sweet, industrial Lambrusco. It’s dry, organically farmed, and oh so gulpable.

2014 Domaine des Terres Dorées Beaujolais “L’Ancien”
Beaujolais, France
A headache-free thirst quencher. Low sulfites and a restrained level of alcohol to make the day after a bit smoother. Beaujolais is my desert island wine.

2013 Selbach “Incline” Riesling
Mosel, Germany
A customer once told me that this off-dry Riesling was, “pour-it-down-my-pants good.”

2012 Eminence Road Farm Winery Gewurtztraminer “Elizabeth’s Vineyard”
Finger Lakes, NY
A classic burst of flowery Gewurtztraminer aromas and flavors. This wine will have you second guessing your assumptions about New York State wine.

2013 Domaine Rimbert “Cousin Oscar”
St. Chinian, France
Years ago I drove through the town of St. Chinian and enjoyed simple country wine like this—bright, refreshing and buoyant.

About Michael Drapkin

Michael Drapkin and his wife Theresa are Kingston residents and owners of the recently opened Kingston Wine Co. After an externship on a farm in southern France, as well as almost a decade of wine experience in Washington, DC and New York city, including time at Vestry Wines in Tribeca and Balthazar Restaurant in Soho, Michael enjoys educating others about the time-honored approach to making agricultural products by hand and the pleasures of the table. Michael is a diploma candidate at the Wine Spirits and Education Trust while also enrolled in the Court of Sommeliers courses.

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