I love the holidays, which is why I’ll take any opportunity to celebrate them as many times as possible. Perhaps that’s why I love the concept of Friendsgiving so much; why have one delicious, convivial Thanksgiving meal when you can have two? Without the necessity of maintaining a certain composure in front of Mom and Dad, however, Friendsgiving can be a little more raucous than the traditional holiday celebration, which makes selecting the appropriate wine more difficult than one might think.
As a self-proclaimed wine nerd, I look for a Friendsgiving bottle that is tasty but not too complicated, full in flavor but not too boozy, and, most importantly, super drinkable but not too expensive. After all, most of my friends couldn’t distinguish a Pinot Noir from a Pinotage, and that’s fine by me. The Domaine les Hautes Noelles ‘Hého’ Rouge, snagged from a Brooklyn wine shop while juggling pie in one hand and sweet potatoes in the other, firmly checks all of those boxes.
The Loire Valley is a region that you can count on for easy-drinking, inexpensive red wines that are more than just one-note fruit bombs. While it is gaining recognition and can produce some super-expensive bottles, most of the Loire’s winemakers are humble farmers trying to sell some wine. Though primarily known for Chenin Blanc and Cabernet Franc, its light, quaffable, friendly reds can be made from a smattering of red grapes, including Pinot Noir, Gamay, Grolleau, Cot (a.k.a. Malbec), Pineau d’Aunis, and more.
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The Hého is the epitome of a red table wine, meant in the best way possible. Made from vineyards in the white wine-dominant Muscadet subregion, it is a blend of Cabernet Franc, Gamay, and Grolleau, the latter two grapes vinified using carbonic maceration to up the peppiness and drinkability. It’s as happy and fun as its name, filled with light, bright red cherry and strawberry fruit, a touch of rose petal, and earth — exactly the kind of wine that you’ll eagerly share with all of your friends.