This Wine is For Cooking Thanksgiving Dinner

Independent Producers “La Bourgeoisie”
Columbia Valley

Producer: The House of Independent Producers
Importer: n/a
Year: 2007
Price: $9.99

This is the wine that you drink while you and your mom stand side by side in the kitchen. It is sipped between chops and during stirs, between browning the onions and minding the rutabaga‘s boil. It is enjoyed between recipes edited aloud, between gossip about family and judgments on lumps in the gravy.

This wine reminds you that you are, in fact, a grown-up, despite all evidence still pointing to the contrary. As you soak in the familiar affection and seek the ancient approval, you realize that a part of you will always be that child peering over the countertop, admiring the capable hands at work and banging on pots with wooden spoons.

This Wine is For Mothers-In-Law

Lola Kay Red Wine

Producer: Rubissow Wines
Importer: n/a
Year: 2006
Price: $24.99

For the vintners, this wine was named for their grandmothers, but for me, this wine is all mother-in-law. Unfined and unfiltered, it is a simple, serene blend with a long reach, warming the heart and fogging the head in the most delightful way. This wine is grace and strength in the style of my mother-in-law, a powerful blend of moods and opinions, a force of fashion and grit, a staunch supporter and a perpetual wild card.

The bottle has two faces. One reflects the mother, the woman who raised the child who grew up to be my husband. The other reflects the woman who lived beyond that role, who danced, painted, traveled, healed, and loved, and who would appear to me through stories shared, late at night, a continent away, after many a glass of good wine such as this.

This Wine is For Cabin Fever

Mount Veeder Cabernet

Producer: Mount Veeder Winery
Importer: n/a
Year: 2006
Price: $39.99

If L.L. Bean and Pottery Barn were to have a lovechild, and that offspring dabbled in winemaking, this would be the result. When the walls are closing in, when the sky has been too gray for too long, when there’s nothing good to eat, nothing good to wear and nothing to watch because you’ve seen it all before, throw on your monogrammed puffy vest and Hunter boots and venture out into the world. This is porch swing wine, clean and calm and content, when the world smells of approaching rain, and burning leaves, and changing seasons, and a fresh start.