The day-after-Thanksgiving rituals can almost be worse than the hangover. Besides the fatigue – compounded by residual tryptophan – cleanup is an agony of slow motion. Greasy dishes are a given. But the disposal of “fowl” tissues, along with the soiled hanky left behind by Uncle Doofus, can make even the most innocuous turkey sandwich symbolize gluttony’s evil ghost.
So, Value Wine Chicago’s advice is this: Put the disheveled carcass on lockdown for 24 hours, carefully stow the hideous gravy boat so nobody gets hurt, and avert all gazes away from the mayo and white bread. Instead, take a culinary tip from Hunter S. Thompson, and order a pizza for dinner.
Enjoy the savory pie (stop sampling the nasty, half-eaten sweet ones) with a good-quality value wine. Sometimes, the best way to cure a Thanksgiving hangover is to start drinking again. Here are some recommendations:
Alto Almanzora “Este” 2008: This is the anti-turkey soup, the anti-turkey sandwich wine (and not just because it would clash with both). It might as well be anti-tryptophan because there is absolutely nothing lethargic about its flavors. A spicy Spaniard made primarily with a blend of Mourvèdre and Tempranillo, it’s rich in dark berry aroma and flavor. Go with pepperoni and green pepper, or even bacon to complement the smokiness. Price: $9.
Carpineto Dogajolo: This Super Tuscan is a super value. It’s versatile enough to pivot between deep-dish sausage and a cheese pizza with a cracker-thin crust. “It goes with anything that has a rich tomato sauce, really,” says Janel Syron of Schaefer’s Wines, Foods & Spirits in suburban Skokie. Intense red fruit leads into a long, beautiful finish. Price: $13.
Cetamura Chianti: A Chianti that is supple and moderately juicy, it has light-to-moderate tannins. It’s a good choice to go with virtually any pizza topping – from buffalo mozzarella to garlicky, spicy meat – but stick with thin crust. Price: $11.
Masciarelli Montepulciano: After the cacophony of flavors at Thanksgiving dinner, a simple cheese pizza might be the call. Pairing it with this Montepulciano would top off a perfect Black Friday – one spent calmly shopping online in boxers (maybe). Nice red fruit here, with a smooth finish. Find it at Que Syrah in Lakeview. Price: $11.