Thanksgiving generally is not a time to trot out spendy wines because guests often are not that into wine. It's also a tough occasion to pair properly, with myriad flavors and textures on the plate. But the 2013 Les Pins Sacres Pays D'Oc Pinot Noir ($13) solves both dilemmas, and in righteous fashion. This light and bright red from France's Languedoc region is beautifully balanced and seriously smooth. Oh, and it tastes great. A stupendous bargain, given pinot noir's usual price tag. Not only is this pitch-perfect for the wide array at the ever-groaning Turkey Day table, it's versatile on the other 364 days of the year: Fowl, pork, root veggies, anything with mushrooms, lightly spiced ethnic dishes and soft cheese are among the options.
Available at Lunds & Byerlys (Ridgedale, Golden Valley, St. Louis Park), Midway Liquors, Cork Dork, Thomas, Stinson, Solo Vino, South Lyndale and the Wine Market.