Wine Pairings to Survive Family Time This Thanksgiving

One simple Google search for “Family time during Holidays” and you’ll find that you are not alone if the thought of days spent with family stresses you out. From articles with 14 tips on how to survive tense holiday time to people with countless letters behind their name telling you the scientific reason that family time during the holidays is stressful, rest assured that you are not the only one.



Some articles claim that self medicating with booze isn’t the best fix. And while we agree with that overall, we know the power of a good pairing can improve not only the Thanksgiving turkey, but it can also improve a conversation gone wrong or an awkward interaction with that family member you were dreading.

Druncle? Nosy Aunt? Successful (and vocal) sibling? We’ve all got them. And now we’ve got the perfect alcohol pairing to make this the best Holiday season yet.

Family Member: Druncle (Drunk Uncle)
Pairing: Maker’s Mark “Maker’s 46” Bourbon

It’s not even 8:00pm and Uncle Bob’s tirades have already started. Oh, and now the singing, too... Great. As unsurprising and almost annoying as it is, you can’t help but admit that it’s comforting to know you can always count on him to lighten the mood and keep the attention off of you. Without the rants, this would be no holiday season at all. To make it through 3 more days of the stories, enjoy something that’s equally as boisterous and simultaneously comforting: Maker’s 46 Bourbon. Full-bodied to match Uncle Bob’s liveliness yet with enough comforting flavors like vanilla, toffee, and cinnamon to remind you that the holidays wouldn’t be complete without good ole’ Druncle Bob.

Family Member: Nosy Aunt
Pairing: Il Censo 2014 "Praruar"

The avoidance tricks have stopped working and Nosy Aunt Sally is headed over to talk. You can no longer avoid eye-contact, your cousins can’t play defense for you anymore, and you’ve already used the restroom enough to make your family wonder if you’re okay. You know there’s a waterfall of questions about to flow to which your answers won’t appease. As a last ditch effort, grab a glass of Praruar, a natural orange wine. The interesting drink will give you some time to talk about how it’s made similarly to red wine instead of white by allowing fermentation with the grape skins. Throw out how it tastes like a jar of apricot jam, autumn spice, and all things nice in a bottle. Even talk about how it’s made with catarratto grapes, Sicily’s most prominent grape. Talk and drink enough and you can likely enjoy another trip to the bathroom- 5 more minutes of avoidance = success!

Family Member: Traveling Hipster Second Cousin
Pairing: Breckenridge Distillery Straight Bourbon Whiskeys

6 months in Japan. 5 weeks backpacking in Nepal. And he made it to the top of Machu Picchu? Alright second cousin Chad, you’re job is cooler and you’ve found yourself more times than we’ve vacationed in the last 2 years. Before there’s a lull for another story of adventure and discovery, ask Chad if he’s heard and tasted the Breckenridge whiskey you’re sipping on. With notes of black tea, cinnamon and carrot cake, the self-proclaimed highest distillery in the world made with Rocky Mountain snowmelt for “mineral infused perfection” will hopefully be enough to save that story of Chad’s upcoming safari for another day.  

Family Member: Successful (and vocal) Sibling
Pairing: Roederer Estate 2009 "l'Ermitage" Brut

You’ve heard it now a few times and from many different angles, but the finalé is the same: little brother got a big promotion. We know you’re proud of baby bro, but this is the 5th time you’ve heard the same story. Spare him the trouble of telling the story (again) and toast to his big promotion with Roederer Estate’s Brut. Enjoy the instant pleasure of silence as notes of pie crust, lemon and creamy mousse quiet the man you’re celebrating most.

Family Member: High Energy Nieces & Nephews
Pairing: La Caudrina “La Selvatica” Asti

One second they’re here, one second they’re there and the next you’ve no idea where they are. It’s been a while since you’ve spent much time with such tiny humans and you’re running out of energy faster than your post lunch slump. Recharge by grabbing a glass of La Selvatica” Asti. The playful bubbles and sugary tastes of orange blossom, sappy peach and crunchy apples will make you feel childlike and the low alcohol content will keep you from fading too fast so you can spend time with your favorite family members (admit it, the smallest ones are always the best!)

Emily HigginbothamComment