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Wine Pairings For Thanksgiving TV and More

All the excitement over this month's premieres may induce a thirst for wine

Janice Williams By November 3, 2021
Elle Fanning appears in The Great Season 2 on Hulu.

Cowboys, tigers, and thieves — oh my! That’s just a fraction of the action appearing on TV screens in November. The month is sure to be an exciting one, as there are plenty of TV shows and movies premiering just in time for family bonding on Thanksgiving. Here are a few shows and movies worth catching this month and a few good bottles of wine to go with them.

7 premieres to pair with 7 bottles:

The Harder They Fall

Nov. 3, 2021; Netflix

Two words: Idris Elba. If reading that name isn’t enough to convince you to tune into Netflix’s newest western, then how about this: Idris Elba playing Rufus, a ruthless, gun-slinging outlaw, alongside his equally murderous consigliere Trudy Smith, played by Regina King. Expect a lot of shooting and a lot of swooning over hot-headed cowboys like Rufus’ compadre Cherokee Bill (LaKeith Stanfield) and Nat (Jonathan Majors), the young outlaw-on-the- rise who’s out for Rufus’ blood. While the film is fictional, the characters are based on real cowboys and outlaws that once wrangled the American West.

bottle of Fall Creek Vineyards Salt Lick Terroir Reflection Texas Hill Country Tempranillo 2019

Fall Creek Vineyards Salt Lick Terroir Reflection Texas Hill Country Tempranillo 2019 ($35)

What better way to enjoy a film set in the wild, Wild West than with wine from Texas? This 100% Tempranillo, produced outside of Austin, Texas by Fall Creek Vineyards, is aromatic with scents of dark, ripe fruit and leather as worn as Rufus’ horse saddle. The palate is voluptuous with black cherry and plum notes, while the finish is dry with hints of vanilla and spice.

Taste the Nation, Holiday Edition

Nov. 4, 2021; Hulu 

"Taste The Nation" poster with Padma Lakshmi

Padma Lakshmi returns for “Taste the Nation” season 3 this November. Photo/key art courtesy of Hulu.

Padma Lakshmi is back with a new season of Hulu’s beloved food series, “Taste the Nation.” This time, the longtime “Top Chef” host will visit kitchens across the U.S. to discover the unique holiday traditions of various U.S. immigrant communities, like Korean New Year in Los Angeles and Cuban Christmas in Miami.

bottle of Sandeman Porto Fine Ruby Port

Sandeman Porto Fine Ruby Port ($18)

Lakshmi and the “Taste the Nation” guests have dinner covered. Let Sandeman handle the dessert. This glimmering ruby-red wine, produced by one of Portugal’s oldest Port producers, is rich and robust with sweet flavors of black fruit, berries, chocolate, and spices.

Red Notice

Nov. 12, 2021; Netflix

Is it true that it takes a thief to catch a thief? An FBI agent played by Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson will put this to the test when he teams up with the world’s greatest art thief (Ryan Reynolds) to catch the world’s most-wanted art thief (Gal Gadot). There will be luxury. There will be dancing. And there will be plenty of moments in which the “Wonder Woman” star outsmarts the men as they chase around the globe attempting to catch her.

bottle of Cantina Bolzano Huck am Bach St. Magdalener Red 2019

Cantina Bolzano Huck am Bach St. Magdalener Red 2019 ($22)

Watch Johnson, Reynolds, and Gadot travel the world while enjoying a journey of your own with this blend of Schiava and Lagrein produced in the heart of Alto Adige, Italy. This red wine is as rich as an art thief selling a Picasso on the black market but as balanced and bright as an investigator on the verge of his most significant capture. Pro tip: Drink this chilled for ultimate pleasure.

The Great, Season 2

Nov. 19, 2021; Hulu

Elle Fanning and Nicholas Hoult reunite for the second season of Hulu’s hilarious period dramedy, “The Great.” The new season will see a pregnant Empress Catherine II finally taking control of the Russian throne. Her husband Emperor Peter III takes on the role of a prisoner — though he’ll be spending his days lapping up all the royal luxury on house arrest. Meanwhile, Catherine’s mother Joanna, played by Gillian Anderson, will make her grand debut in Russia to help Catherine liberate a country that would prefer to be left alone. However, the only one capable of helping the empress change the hearts of stubborn citizens may turn out to be the one she knocked off the throne.

bottle of Piper-Heidsieck Champagne Cuvée Brut NV

Piper-Heidsieck Champagne Cuvée Brut NV ($50)

Royal backstabbing goes down smoothly with this bubbly blend of Pinot Noir, Meunier, and Chardonnay. This lively, pale gold Champagne is rich with fragrances of almond and hazelnut, while the palate lights up with sensational stone fruit and light citrus flavors that linger. Bubbles as tiny as pin needles are persistent throughout.

Tiger King 2

Nov. 17, 2021; Netflix

Did you miss Joe Exotic? He’s still in prison in Texas for violating federal wildlife laws and his role in a murder-for-hire against his arch-enemy Carole Baskin. However, fans will get another dose of the blond mullet-wearing zookeeper in “Tiger King 2,” the follow-up to Netflix’s most-watched docuseries ever, “Tiger King.” Viewers will get to hear from Exotic and see what Jeff Lowe has been up to since he took over Exotic’s Oklahoma animal park. Spoiler alert: Lowe appears to be enjoying a rock star lifestyle with “more money than God,” from the looks of the trailer. And there may be a few sightings of Baskin, who is featured in the new trailer despite making multiple claims that she would not return to the docuseries following her disappointment over her portrayal in the first “Tiger King.” Of course, there will be tigers in cages at so-called animal sanctuaries and more bizarre moments that will likely have animal rights groups up in arms.

bottle of Josh Cellars Central Coast Pinot Noir 2020

Josh Cellars Central Coast Pinot Noir 2020 ($19)

After digesting a show as truly crazy and bizarre as “Tiger King,” a glass of something calming, nurturing, and easy-to-drink is in order. Josh Cellars Pinot Noir, made from grapes grown across California’s Central Coast, has the simplicity, structure, and elegance needed following a show full of chaos.

Selling Sunset, Season 4

Nov. 24, 2021; Netflix

"Selling Sunset" cast members, Chrishel Stause and Heather Rae Young

“Selling Sunset” cast members, Chrishel Stause and Heather Rae Young. Photo courtesy of Netflix.

The only thing better than watching rich people buy houses in Hollywood is the drama between the real estate agents selling them on the fourth season of the Netflix reality series, “Selling Sunset.” Details on the new season have remained under wraps, but some cast members have already hinted at their return on social media. Viewers should expect to see the main crew of realtors Chrishell Stause, Christine Quinn, Heather Young, Mary Fitzgerald, Maya Vander, and Jason Oppenheim. Oppenheim’s twin Brett Oppenheim left the show and Oppenheim Group Real Estate after Season 3 to start his venture, Oppenheim Real Estate. As for Davina Potratz, her status with the show is unclear. She hasn’t sold the $75 million property she took on against the agency’s wishes last season, either. It’s still listed for sale on the Oppenheim Group’s website — so viewers will hopefully get an update on that, whether Potratz is involved with the show or not.

bottle of WillaKenzie Estate Willamette Valley Chardonnay 2017

WillaKenzie Estate Willamette Valley Chardonnay 2017 ($37)

This 100% Chardonnay is as impressive as Christine Quinn’s wardrobe and as reliable as Mary Fitzgerald in a multimillion-dollar bidding war for a mansion overlooking Sunset Blvd. Alluring aromas of lemon, peach, and honeysuckle intertwine with nuances of ripe peach on the palate for a fresh and delicious wine.

Thanksgiving Day Football

Nov. 25, 2021; 12:30 p.m. EST, Fox; 4:30 p.m. EST, CBS; 8:20 p.m. EST, NBC

FLX on FOX logo

NFL on Fox. Photo courtesy of Fox Sports.

Thanksgiving is the biggest game day of the NFL besides the Super Bowl, and there will be plenty to watch on the holiday. Start with the Chicago Bears against the Detroit Lions before Thanksgiving dinner. Later in the day, carve up the turkey and catch the Las Vegas Raiders face off against the Dallas Cowboys. The Buffalo Bills and New Orleans Saints will go toe-to-toe just in time for that second slice of sweet potato pie.

bottle of Taub Family Vineyards Rutherford Cabernet Sauvignon 2017

Taub Family Vineyards Rutherford Cabernet Sauvignon 2017 ($70)

How about a classic American wine to go with a classic American sport? This dark garnet and purple-hued Cabernet Sauvignon, produced from grapes grown in the Rutherford AVA within California’s Napa Valley, is complex and aromatic — truly worthy of special occasion drinking. Notes of purple plum and dark cherry evolve into flavors of tobacco leaf and herbal tea, while dusty tannins give the wine a structure sturdy enough to support a lengthy, savory finish.