Saturday, November 18, 2006

Your thoughts: What shall we drink on Thanksgiving?

I grew up in a household where alcohol was, if not demonized, scrutinized to the point of being so taboo that I looked upon adults who drank even a beer with dinner or during a football game as morally suspect.

I'll never forget the time my parents got in a fight and my dad left the house for a few hours. I found out he had gone away to drink a beer!!! and, for a time, it changed the way I felt about his standing as the Most Perfect Man Ever. (First person to say the word "Electra" gets a good smack upside the head; Freud is not allowed on this blog.)

These days I'm in many ways grateful for such a rigid upbringing, because it kept my ass out of trouble knowing that my parents would kick said ass if I went out and got drunk before I went off to college and became legal age. And even then, if I made enough of a fool out of myself.

Now that I'm well within my legal right to drink and my brother isn't a kid anymore, it's funny to watch the ways in which my family's attitudes toward drinking have changed. Since becoming a wine wonk, I am always bringing home stuff for the family to try, and the spirits flow much more freely than they did during my childhood.

The family transformation actually happened before I started getting into wine, so I can't take credit for their debauchification. During my first couple of years of college, I would come home periodically to find fruity winecoolers in the fridge. And while you might think fruity winecoolers sound like something my mom would drink, fruity winecoolers are the province of my father, the Turner alpha male. Never a devoted beer drinker, he found his niche in the fuzzy navels and the flavored Zimas of the world. He usually falls asleep before he can get too drunk, though, so they just give him a nice warm feeling before he dozes off.

Lately the real drinkin' in the family is done by my mom and my grandmother and me when I come to visit. (And my underage brother when he can get away with it, which he does with alarming frequency considering I was never allowed to sit at the kitchen table and drink peppermint schnapps in front of my parents.) And my mom and my grandmother totally drink because I bring them good wine.

And that makes me feel awesome, because a couple of glasses of wine can make any evening with the Turners even more interesting than it is already.

A few summers back, I would come home with vodka and peach schnapps and juice and make cocktails for everyone. It was tedious. Now, I just bring a couple of bottles of wine and uncork them, and I don't have to do any work at all. It's great.

I've learned that they like whites better than reds, and that the fruitier the better. (My grandmother recently brought over some elderberry Manishevitz, which tasted like straight-up sugarplum juice, but she swore a doctor told her it would improve her immune system, so she takes two tablespoons a night.) They enjoyed the Relax Riesling I brought, along with some others I've forgotten about by now.

So I'm trying to plan what to take home for Thanksgiving. I've already picked up a bottle of Fetzer Guwurtztraminer, which they both raved about two weeks ago when we tried it (I wasn't as crazy about it, but it's still a solid wine I'd gladly have with Thanksgiving dinner). Now I'm looking for one or two more — a white and a red, preferably — to offer up with the standard Thanksgiving dinner of turkey and dressing and cranberry sauce and macaroni and green beans and bread and whatnot.

Maybe I should go for a white (a crowdpleaser) and a dessert wine for pecan pie and banana pudding.

Any suggestions? What's on your table this Thanksgiving?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, it ain't alcohol, that's for sure. A couple of years ago I called my grandmother and asked if she minded if I brought a bottle of wine to serve with Thanksgiving dinner. The phone went silent for a bit, and then she replied (not without much bile and contempt), "No!" and then gasped, as if the idea washed over her a second time and horrified her even more than the first. I felt like a complete dirt bag, then, and my defense-mechanism triggered me to chuckle and remind her, "Well, Jesus turned the water into wine."

Grandmas in the South don't think Jesus jokes are very funny.

My immediate family is another story, however. Mom will probably shoot vodka at the table, and eat leftovers at the coffee table while watching football. Brooke will text message people and chain smoke (she can't tolerate alcohol after her last surgery), and I probably won't be anywhere close to Savannah.

Wish I could be of more help. I'm not particularly fond of Thanksgiving, and my family is slowly imploding so I'm kinda off the hook this year.

11/18/2006 9:48 PM  
Blogger theogeo said...

That's hilarious about your grandma. Luckily my grandma is no stranger to the drink. Remember her illustrious liquor cabinet from which I stole many an ounce of Everclear to sneak to band practice during the summer?

Okay, so maybe that didn't work out so well. My sister swears I called her and told her I was drunk and needed her to pick me up. I don't remember that, because I didn't think we even got a buzz off that shit.

Whoops, I'm hijacking my own comment thread.

You're always welcome to come gnosh on bird and wine with me and mine, and I promise there will be no granny-shaming.

11/19/2006 12:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh my god, I'd completely forgotten about the Everclear at band practice! Ha! Those damn Sprite bottles!

You called your sister and told her to come pick you up?! That, my dear, is priceless.

Gnosh? Kind of like...Gnads? Tee-hee! (sorry. G's.)

Thanks for the invite, but I'll probably stay at home and have wine for dinner and that's it.

11/19/2006 3:10 PM  
Blogger theogeo said...

I would like to blame my proclivity for putting Gs on words that start with N on my being drunk when I wrote that, but you've known me for far too long to buy that.

See, I don't remember calling my sister and I would swear to this day she is making that up. But what a random thing to make up! It's more likely that I am just an unbelievable moron.

11/23/2006 12:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not moronic. Just unapologetically Lindsey. Remember when we got "drunk" on Everclear and Kool-Aid and you put on your prom dress and stood over your vent? I believe there's a picture of that floating around somewhere. What I would give to see that again!

And remember how we frantically scalded out those glasses under your kitchen tap so no one would get a whiff of our mischief?

And don't feel bad about the G's. (Is it wrong to put an apostrophe after the letter? I was taught to underline the letter, but I don't and am frankly not a fan of how that looks.) Because where you occasionally place a random G, I usually just misspell the shit out of words I used to be able to spell. I was one of those spelling bee winner kids, too. Didn't you beat me in a middle school spelling bee? I was the Walker Elementary champion. That was until I met the formidable Lindsey Turner, however, and we started having balsa wood wars and making our gifted teacher cry.

Ah, memories.

11/25/2006 8:13 PM  

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