We had some good friends join us for Meatless Monday, Betsy made a butternut squash soup, broccoli rabe with parmesan, and salad. I might have leanedwhite, but guests mostly drink red, so we had a couple of those:

2007 Casa de Mouraz (Dao)
Medium bodied, some raspy tannins, good acids, but I was a little disappointed in this, just seemed to lack vim and vigor. B-

2006 Guion "Cuvee Prestige" Bourgueil
This showed quite nicely, red fruits, underbrush, herbs. Lots happening on the nose, nicely balanced, amazing for the price. B+

We rose early Tuesday and drove south through unexpected rain, with Basset hound in car. We arrived in Asheville NC a bit before dinner, to lovely new house of some friends who semi-retired this year. Jim had made a delicious root veggie curry, plus an excellent salad. There was an organic Malbec that was straightforward and juicy, but I neglected name or notes. The NV Pinon Brut Rose (Touraine) was its usually lovely self- dry, crisp, red fruit with a hint of bitterness to add complexity. B+/B A small glass of the Dow 20 Year Tawny made a nice way to finish the evening- bright, raisins, caramel, and orange zest, lighter character, good length. B+

Wednesday afternoon we drove the rest of the way to the Atlanta area, had no wine that evening. Thursday we helped my parents do most of the Thanksgiving dinner (turkey, dressing, 3 salads, mashed potatoes, green beans, creamed corn, roasted vegetables, 2 pies), which we packed up and took to my brothers home(where they had ham, sweet potatoes, grilled vegetables, rice, etc). Nice gathering of family (plus 4 Indian guys in US for a couple months doing some work for my brother's company), and Lucy had fun with my brother's dogs. A couple of wines were poured

2007 Kistler "Kistler Vineyard" Pinot Noir
I confess to expecting to really hate this (based on comments from friends).. This had a lot of oak, and heavy extracted fruit, but there's a surprising liveliness to it- bright acids, good length, smooth tannins. Too oaky, but still much better than I expected. B-

2007 Kistler "Vine Hill " Chardonnay
Lots of oak here, too. The underlying wine has some attractions- good acidity for CA, interesting blend of citrus and tropical fruits, but the oak is just too much. B-/C+

Unlike my parents' usual midafternoon feast, this was actually a lunch. So when dinnertime rolled around back at my parents, I could actually eat (leftovers). We opened a bottle of the 2009*Simon Bize*"Les*Perrieres" Bourgogne Blanc.*Lovely bottle of minerally Chardonnay, floral and fruity with a solid acid backbone. B+

Friday we had tenderloin, baked potato, and veggie leftovers, I openedd the2006 Alesia (Rhys) "Fairview Ranch" Syrah. Nice balance of ripeness and acids, dark fruits, earth, pepper, meat. Drinking well, totally giving, what fun. B+/A-

Saturday afternoon we left and drove as far as the Shenandoah Valley, wherewe crashed for the night. Up early Sunday to finish drive to NY. Sunday evening Betsy made pasta with shrimp and lemon oil, wines was the 2009 Pepiere (Ollivier) Muscadet. Drinking well, a tad rounder than most years, but still with good tension. Stones, citrus, seashells. B++

Grade disclaimer: I'm a very easy grader, basically A is an excellent wine,B a good wine, C mediocre. Anything below C means I wouldn't drink at a party where it was only choice. Furthermore, I offer no promises of objectivity, accuracy, and certainly not of consistency.