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Turkey Day has come and gone, and each year I find more to be thankful for. This year, I am thankful that my brilliant husband likes to collect wine as much as I do and actually has his own hidden stash with which he surprised all of us at our Thanksgiving feast. Exactly when he bought 2004 Willamette Pinots beats me, but kudos to him! Even better, he bought the same vintage from the same vineyard—but from two different blocks in that particular vineyard.

Now, I must say I was never a believer in the fact that there is much difference in a vineyard’s wines when you have the same vintage and grapes, but there really is! Once we were all at the table, we poured everyone a glass of each wine and didn’t tell them a thing about the bottles. Sure enough, everyone—even my parents—thought the wines were completely different, each in its own delicious way!

Which leads to me to suggest to everyone: when you have a big group for an event, buy a few of the same wines from the same vineyard to experience a broader range of their particular flavors. Look for different vintages or different areas from which the grapes were harvested and see what you find. It is fun, informative, and yes, I admit, a bit nerdy. But since it’s nerdy in a “I get to try some more wine” kind of way, why not give it a shot?

Thanksgiving leftovers are the perfect excuse to try some Pinot Noirs of any make or model. Pinot Noir can evoke the brightness of your mom’s cranberries or tame the richness of a perfectly brined turkey. If red isn’t your thing, why not try Chardonnay? From fruity and crisp, to buttery and unctuous, it too is the perfect wine for your leftover feast. And in our house, if all else fails, we pop open a sparkling of some sort. Go on, celebrate a weekend of food, family, and shopping!

Oh, and I bet you’re wondering what those great Pinots were from my Thanksgiving dinner? So glad you asked! It was the 2004 Raptor Ridge Shea Vineyard and the 2004 Raptor Ridge Reserve.  Annie Shull, one of the owners, is from Minnesota, and her husband Scott is the chief winemaker. We also happen to carry Raptor Ridge by the glass at Söntés. It’s neither of the vineyards I mentioned, but still great wine. And boy does it age better then I thought! I might have to hide some of our current vintage now and drink it in seven years!