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Movies and wines…two of our favorite things…

Go see “Ray,” the film biography of Ray Charles, which features one of the best performances you’re going to see this year by Jamie Foxx in the title role. We could quibble with some of the choices made by director Taylor Hackford, but the power of Foxx’s portrayal is simply amazing. The music is fabulous, the look of the film distinctive, and “Ray” does something really unusual – it creates the portrait of a man who is, in many ways, utterly reprehensible…and yet you can’t help but like him and love his talent.

As for wines, we’ve gotten several emails from folks asking what we’ll be drinking with Thanksgiving dinner as they cast about for something to serve themselves.

Well, we’ll probably be bring some Pinot Noir or a Shiraz to dinner (we’re not cooking)…they tend to be a little more versatile than a Cabernet or a Zinfandel, and go nicely with turkey and a roast beef. There’s a 2002 Schug Sonoma Pinot Noir that’s been calling out to us from the wine cabinet…as well as a 2002 Heron Pinot Noir from California.

One thing we probably won’t be bringing along is the 2004 Beaujolais Nouveau from Georges DuBoef, just delivered yesterday to US wine stores. It actually is pretty good – a little sweet for us, with a strawberry thing going for it. (How’s that for precise, sophisticated wine writing?) It has more structure – for lack of a better word – that previous Beaujolais Nouveaus that we remember…but still a little light for a Thanksgiving dinner.

We did get one email from an MNB user asking what to serve with ham for Thanksgiving. (Ham? Who has ham on Thanksgiving?) Ah, well, who are we to judge…

We’d probably go with a Pinot Noir…or maybe a Zinfandel if you can think of one that isn’t too overwhelming. (There’s a 2002 Spann Mo Zin in the cabinet that we’re told has a nice, spicy finish that we might bring along if we were invited someplace where they were serving ham.) If you’re thinking white wine, maybe a Rieseling…though we can’t think of one to recommend.

A lot of it depends on where you’re going, how adventurous you feel, and what kind of relationship you have with your local wine merchant. We’re lucky enough to have a wonderful one (who also ships all over the country – check out ), and we depend on him for great and unusual recommendations.

So here’s a thought. Go to your local wine store, and tell the experts working there what you’re having for dinner…and then get them to recommend something you’ve never tasted before. Then buy it and bring it to dinner…a leap of faith.

Most times, we’ve found, faith is rewarded.
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