The season of giving thanks—and also gluttony—is upon us. When it comes to libations, we never tire of thinking about what goes best with America’s favorite holiday meal. The trick is finding something easy to like and easy to pair. It helps if it’s also easy on the budget, because that turkey dinner for 12 doesn’t pay for itself. We found three liquids to enjoy this time of year, and not just for Thanksgiving.
Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales “Fuego del Otoño” Sour Saison
($6 25-oz bottle, Bond Distributing)
First, let’s be clear: Jolly Pumpkin is the brewer, and this is not pumpkin beer. This is a sour ale brewed with chestnuts and spice that comports itself a bit like a light red wine. It’s remarkably balanced, neither too rich nor too hoppy. The chestnut and spice notes are subtle, and the sour acid is just enough to make this an ideal companion for autumnal foods.
Quentin Harel Beaujolais Villages “Les Grandes Terres” 2017
($22, Prestige Beverage)
The red wines of France’s Beaujolais district are delightful once one gets past the ocean of oft-mediocre “Nouveau” wines the French insist on sending our way each fall. Don’t believe us? Check out this bottle from esteemed French wine importer Kermit Lynch. Made from the Gamay grape, it bursts with red fruit tones, bright acidity, and a supple finish that will wash Thanksgiving dinner down in perfect harmony.
Two James “Catcher’s Rye” Whiskey
($49, The Country Vintner)
The first licensed distillery to operate in Detroit since Prohibition, Two James is making some of the most compelling spirits in the country. The distillery crafts this whiskey from 100 percent Michigan rye and ages it for a minimum of two years in American oak barrels. The result is an instant classic, at home in a great Manhattan but equally enjoyable with a simple cube of ice.