Who needs to fuss over food and wine pairings on Thanksgiving? Not me, as long as it has some Chenin in it. For a humble little wine that packs a lot of punch and is affordable for a large diverse group (some winers; some not), I submit:
Domaine du Tariquet Chenin-Chardonnay, Vin de Pays de Cotes de Gascoyne, is a great example of the humble white wines of the region, both familiar and exotic at the same time, perfectly attuned to a diverse variety of foods, eminently satisfying, not at all pretentious, and remarkably affordable at around $10-12 a bottle.
Chardonnay can be lovely, but is often over-manipulated and masked with oak. It can add delightful apple and pear flavors, but sometimes lacks aromatic expression and can be a bit low in acidity and in need of plumping up. Chenin Blanc, on the other hand, is sometimes screeching in acidity but has wonderful aromatic complexity, and may need judicious toning down.
The combination of the two varieties, however, as in this blend, makes for a more dynamic, tasty and---quite frankly---gulpable table wine, by playing to the strength of each variety. The Chardonnay (25%) provides the aforesaid green apples and juicy pears; the Chenin Blanc (75%) supplies the snap of crispy acidity and a brisk minerality, along with ripe melon, honey and intriguing English toffee to tantalize the taste buds and leave you asking for more.
An amazingly diverse food wine---the Gascons don’t differentiate between “wine” and “food wine;” all wines are food wines to them--- the Chenin-Chardonnay goes down so easily that you’ll want to go ahead and get another bottle beforehand. You’ll need it.