Thanksgiving: What We’re Drinking | Vivian Ho - Wine & Spirits Magazine

Thanksgiving: What We’re Drinking | Vivian Ho

You know the saying, “Too many cooks in the kitchen spoil the broth.” But what about too many sommeliers?

The W&S staff plays sommelier at our respective Thanksgiving feasts, a role often complicated by family traditions—some loved, some eagerly forgotten. Or by the food—a subject on which everyone has an opinion. Or, in some years, by the family…. There are those Thanksgivings, in fact, in which we wish we could simply nab our favorite dish and bottle of wine and take them off to someplace quiet to enjoy them in peace. Here are some of our favorite bottles and dishes—and a few recipes to boot.

Vivian Ho
Production Manager (NYC)
Rosé Champagne and Bourgogne Rouge

At my house, the food can only be described as “Chinese fusion.” We have turkey with a side of grandma’s mashed potatoes with minced pork and button mushrooms, honey-glazed ham, Chinese greens doused in oyster sauce, store-bought steamed chicken and roast pork, homemade pork skin simmered in chicken broth with daikon radish and fried fish balls, stir-fried soy sauce vermicelli noodles with preserved baby shrimp, steamed bass with scallions and soy sauce, handmade dumplings (you can’t stop at one!), and some sort of soup (last year, it was a fish stew with lotus root). For dessert, a green tea or strawberry cake from Red Leaf in Flushing, New York, assorted cookies from an Italian bakery in Forest Hills and/or oranges from Costco.

Since working at W&S, I’ve been made the default “sommelier” of all family functions (never mind that my cousin-in-law is a recently certified level 2 sommelier). I have to cater to two groups: For the more conservative adults, I stock up on Rodney Strong California cabernet sauvignon, Penfolds shiraz, Barolo and some Bordeaux. My cousins are more adventurous, so I mix it up with some rieslings from Alsace and Germany, Loire cabernet franc and Oregon pinot noir.

But if I had it my own way, I’d start off with a rosé Champagne (Saint Chamant is a favorite) and trade in the fusion feast for a simple charcuterie plate. If I still have room for more meat, it’d be a steak or a lamb chop with a Burgundy from Lucien Boillot.

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