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Spark joy at Thanksgiving with these $20-and-under wines

Whether you plan to feast with a quarantine pod, or tuck into a repast for one or two, these food-friendly pours will surely inspire a sense of plenty

Spark joy at Thanksgiving with these $20-and-under wines.Ellen Bhang

While Thanksgiving will be a smaller affair this year, there’s no need to lower your expectations when it comes to the wine on your table. With so many affordable, joy-sparking bottles on shop shelves, your biggest dilemma will be narrowing down what goes into your shopping basket. To aid your search, let me suggest three. Plush with fruit and palate-cleansing acidity, each reflects thoughtful winemaking and offers ample pleasure. Best of all, in a year of curtailed travel, every sip transports you to the stunning, far-flung landscapes where these grapes grow. So whether you plan to feast with a quarantine pod, or tuck into a repast for one or two, these food-friendly pours will surely inspire a sense of plenty.

Abadía da Cova “A Fuga” Ribeira Sacra 2018 Ignacio “Nacho” Alvarez, former head winemaker of powerhouse Spanish importer Jorge Ordóñez Selections, is now exercising his formidable talents on a range of projects. That includes Adegas Moure, a family winery in Ribeira Sacra, in Spain’s verdant northwest, which produces Abadía da Cova wines. One particular white — a polished blend of albariño, godello, and treixadura — is waterfall-fresh, with citrus blossoms on the nose. Its palate expresses ripe yellow fruit, bright acid, and a hint of saline. Even the wine’s name is well-suited to our times: “A Fuga” translates to “escape,” conjuring notions of going off the grid to seek a peaceful refuge. 13 percent alcohol by volume (ABV). $18-$20. Distributed by Cynthia Hurley French Wines. At Berman’s Fine Wines & Spirits, Lexington, 781-862-0515; Lighthouse Wine & Spirits, Beverly, 978-529-2433.


Cantina di Sorbara, Lambrusco Salamino di Santa Croce On the front label of this handsome bottle is a dedication to Alfredo Molinari, the founder of a grape growers' cooperative in central Italy. Today, more than 100 years later, Molinari would marvel at how the co-op, Cantina di Carpi e Sorbara, encompasses 1,200 growers throughout Modena, Reggio Emilia, Mantova, and around Bologna. This wine is crafted from deep-hued lambrusco salamino, the most widely planted of that family of grapes. Exuberant aromas of balsamic-steeped berries, crushed petals, and a little flint lead to a tart, frothy mouthful that’s generously fruity yet dry. 11 percent ABV. $15-$19. Distributed by MS Walker. At Bauer Wine & Spirits, Back Bay, 617-262-0363; Vinodivino, Newton, 617-527-8466.

Jean-Marc Burgaud, “Les Vignes de Lantignié” Beaujolais Villages 2019 Since the late ’80s, winemaker Jean-Marc Burgaud has made the most of the granite-rich hillsides of northern Beaujolais, the gamay-centric region directly south of the Mâconnais, in France. His cru wines — such as his Régnié Vallières and Morgon Côte du Py — are beautiful; so it’s no surprise that his Beaujolais Villages — crafted from proprietary family vines in the village of Lantignié — offers everything you could want in a festive red. The grapes in this beguiling pour undergo traditional carbonic maceration, resulting in juicy scents of red fruit, purple petals, and a wisp of white mushroom. Every sip expresses a supple compote of ripe red fruit, flowers, and a savory saline note. 12.5 percent ABV. $15-$16. Distributed by Ideal Wine & Spirits. At Ball Square Fine Wines, Somerville, 617-623-9500; Craft and Cru, Milton, 617-322-1163.


Ellen Bhang can be reached at