As outlandish as he is, Gary Vanerchuk's Thanksgivings are a surprisingly traditional affair. Around 20 members of the extended clan gather at Gary's parents' house in central New Jersey for football on the tube (of course) and his mother's roast turkey, stuffing, chunky cranberry sauce and sweet-potato pie crowned with marshmallowsand lots of it. "Classic Russian-immigrant mentality," says Gary, 34, the family's eldest son. "We have, minimum, seven times more food than needed."
For wines at recent Thanksgivings, he says, "I've been really nerding it up." Last year, he brought the family Loire Valley reds made from the Cabernet Franc grape, from France's beloved-by-wine-geeks appellations of Chinon and Bourgueil. "The Loire Valley is grossly underestimated," he says. "The prices are fair, and the wines are real"by which he means they're honest expressions of the varying appellations they come from.
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Here are his five Thanksgiving wine picks, all under $50: