Are you planning a Thanksgiving feast, or are you taking your Hartmann Luggage to someone else's house to celebrate? To hosts and hostesses, Brown-Forman (NYSE:BFB) has something for you.

Although tableware, giftware, and Hartmann Luggage are all Brown-Forman products, it is adult beverage names such as Korbel California Champagnes, Fetzer and Bolla wines, Jack Daniel's, Southern Comfort, Finlandia Vodka, and Canadian Mist that are most familiar to consumers -- and the beverages of choice for holiday season toasts.

The second-quarter news for shareholders is worthy of celebration. Net sales increased 8% and net income shot up 16% for the latest quarter. While consumer durables revenue fell 9%, those adult beverages -- led by a strong performance by Jack Daniel's -- increased a lucky 13%.

A lower dollar has helped results, and that trend is still continuing.

Although wine profits fell and there will be some inventory reductions in the fourth quarter, because of new international distribution agreements, the company estimates it will earn $2.38 to $2.43 a share in 2005.

Investors might balk at paying almost 20 times forward earnings for a company expected to grow earnings by about 10% a year -- especially when diversified competitors such as Diageo (NYSE:DEO) and Allied Domecq (NYSE:AED) sell for 16 times earnings and Fortune Brands (NYSE:FO) sells for 17. Ah, but there are two big differences. Brown-Forman gets more of its income from stable adult beverages, and its balance sheet is stronger (with its small net debt of $630 million).

Brown-Forman has also avoided the temptation to pay high prices in the consolidating wine industry. While Constellation Brands (NYSE:STZ) is willing to borrow $1.03 billion and assume almost $300 million in debt to acquire Robert Mondavi (NASDAQ:MOND) -- which lost money in its latest quarter -- Brown-Forman was selling its 10% stake in Scotch whisky maker Glenmorangie for a profit of $0.36 to $0.38 per share.

As tastes change, Brown-Forman has an adult beverage to suit. This quarter it was Jack Daniel's that grew strongly. Last quarter, it was Jack and Southern Comfort. Whatever brand comes to the rescue, Brown-Forman has shown a knack to make money quarter after quarter.

Hey, it's Thanksgiving time. Want to discuss The Art of Fun(ky) BBQ or Recipes and Cooking? How about discussing adult beverages and Brown-Forman? Join in at Motley Fool discussion boards, where investors can talk about a wide range of topics with other investors.

Fool contributor W.D. Crotty does not own stock in any of the companies mentioned.