We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Champagne is always right for cocktail hour, but I'm talking about accompaniment to food. As a semi-amateur wine drinker, my advice is to drink whatever you like with dinner, provided that it is red in color. These holidays are not about gourmet cooking, they are about traditional comfort food and so they need comfort wines.
This year for Thanksgiving, I am going for a Brunello di Montalcino Riserva followed up by a nice Chianti Riserva. Why Tuscans, why Sangiovese? Just for the fun of it. Also because they do not overpower turkey and stuffing, but who really cares about that?
Our more mature readers surely remember the cheap and horrible-tasting Chiantis in straw wrappings in spaghetti-and-meatball restaurants. That straw-wrapped bottle is/was called a "fiasco" - a flask. That wine was a fiasco but the bottles made for cute candlesticks.
Well, Chiantis imported to the US can be darn good these days, and the so-called Super-Tuscans (with varying amounts of Cabernet added to the mix) are quite tasty too. The Chianti Classicos and Riservas tend to be tastier than the basic Chianti table wines.
I agree with the pairing of a good Tuscan wine with Thanksgiving dinner, particularly one that is Sangiovese based (Brunello being Sangiovese Grosso). Typically low in alcohol and high in acidity, these wines are a perfect complement to many foods.
My choice is likely to be Montevertine Le Pergola Torte from a small winery in Chianti. While usually 100% Sangiovese, the wine is vinified in the style of wines from Burgundy.
Whatever you drink, appreciate it for the art form that it can be.
Actually, there are hundreds of CA wines that I would open for these holidays including, for example, Shafer Hillside Select, Ridge Montebello, Araujo, etc. But, these are all cabs and might be a little too robust for turkey. Likewise, syrahs from the region are too potent for delicate flavored foods.
The west coast is now producing some great Pinot Noirs (CA, OR and WA), but these tend to be high in alcohol and low in acidity. My favorite, in the style of a Brunello or Chianti Riserva (and Montevertine), is Littorai from Sebastopol, CA which is made in the style of burgundy too. Pairing for food is the most important criterion IMO.