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Tis the Season
To talk about Thanksgiving!
No specific wine tasting this week, as I’m getting over a case of food poisoning? I’ve been eating lunch at my office off and on for over 24 years, and this is the first ever meal that’s made me sick. (Different lunches, obviously. That wasn’t the problem.)
I took a sick day on Thursday and watched some TV, and the Christmas ads are out in full force already. I think they started the minute the calendar changed over to November 1. Well, guess what, folks. If capitalism can start the Christmas ads before folks can finish taking off their Halloween costumes, I sure as hell can start talking about planning Thanksgiving dinner.
In my immediate family, we’re big planners for the holidays. As soon I start getting invites for social events in November, I have to check with the parentals for anniversary (theirs) and birthday (Mom’s) plans. When I start getting emails from local farms about putting in turkey orders, I get antsy to know what’s going on. My aunt is hosting for the first time since before the plague, and I offered of course to bring the wine!
So what’s on my wine agenda for this very special Thanksgiving. Most of my family aren’t big dry wine fans, so I’ll have to look for some things that are more off-dry than I’d buy for myself. Some wines with really big fruit flavors can make a wine feel less dry, so I’ll be looking for those too.
You’ve heard me rabbit on about acidity tons in the past, so I’ll just say my typical Thanksgiving meal consists of turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy, stuffing. “…Sweetness, saltiness, and fat balance the sour taste of acidity,” so it really helps clear the palate for the next bite of food.
I like to bring both reds and whites to make everyone happy. Nothing super oaky or too dark that would clash. For whites, the easy choice is Riesling. Slightly sweeter ones for other folks, and the dry stuff for me. In the past Lakewood Vineyards’ Full Monty Riesling from New York has been a big hit.
I’ll be looking for L’Ecole No. 41 Old Vines Chenin Blanc again too, which I wrote about in May:
And now that I’m a somewhat convert to unoaked chardonnay, I would definitely get more from William Heritage. I wouldn’t get actual Chablis though, because the brininess would stick out strangely. Unless you’re having a shellfish course, which… gah, right now the thought of that is not appealing.
For reds, nothing too bold. I wouldn’t go with a zinfandel for instance, though I would use it in the cranberry sauce. Yum. Pinot noir is a good choice, as is gamay or even sangiovese. I personally prefer to serve American wines on Thanksgiving, but this Beaujolais I enjoyed last month would work well.
And don’t sleep on rosés! We’re big kids, we can drink what we like when we like. Rosés can be a great balance of fruit and freshness for your table.
Finally, whatever you’re planning, be it a gala for your whole family or sandwiches in front of the football game, start ordering now. Shipping times for packages are just going to get worse as we get closer to the holidays. Check out this story from Wine Enthusiast about how the supply chain issues are hitting the wine industry too. Eesh.
Once I feel okay about tasting again and my body stops trying to kill me, I’ll share with you anything that would be a great Thanksgiving pairing. If you come across anything too, do let me know!