Bacchic Reflections

Thanksgiving dinners take eighteen hours  to prepare.  They are consumed in  twelve minutes.  Half-times take twelve minutes.  This is not coincidence.
                                                                                               Erma Bombeck

Hey.....slow it down a little with good wine (as below)........Cheers, b.e.

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Reds worth cellaring...Cabs, Pinots, Other
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Wines for Thanksgiving
As you head out to buy wines for the Thanksgiving feast, consider these—a variety of wines I’ve  recently sampled that can nicely handle the diversity of flavors on the table. They include  reds and whites—I like to have both, in fact, particularly for sizeable groups with folks who prefer one or the other.
Sparkling Aperitif: nothing gets things off to a festive start like a glass of bubbly and an appropriate toast of gratitude. There are so many to recommend (I’ll add more as the holidays progress): 
Schramsberg Blanc de Blancs 2012, Napa Valley. Schramsberg is celebrating the estate’s 50th Anniversary and producing its best wines ever. The elegant Blanc de Blancs is exhilarating, with great finesse.  Other good sparklers:  Mirabelle Brut (Schramsberg’s fine second label), Domaine Chandon Blanc de Noirs (also the étoile brut), and the excellent Biltmore Château Reserve 2011 Blanc de Blancs, all chardonnay, North Carolina-grown, very Champagne-like.

Tom Turkey & his trimmins’:  Pinot Gris:  Gewurtztraminer used to be the big recommendation for the turkey feast, but I actually think Pinot Gris (not Pinot Grigio) works better with the likes of sweet potatoes, mashed turnips, asparagus/green pea casserole and of course, roast turkey or ham. Hugel 2013 Pinot Gris, from one of the oldest wine estates in Alsace, is classic—dry but rich, with the merest hint of spice—I was delighted with this one. 
Left Coast Cellars 2014 The Orchards Pinot Gris, from Oregon’s Willamette Valley, quite young and bright, dry but full-bodied—a new label worth looking for (also producing a handsome Pinot Noir – Cali’s Cuvee 2013). Other Pinot Gris to look for:  2013-14 King Estate, Ponzi, Kudsen-Erath.

Beaujolais Nouveau 2015: 
November 19, the third Thursday when Nouveau is released, was a bit subdued in Paris this year, but a wide selection is available in the U.S.this week. Nouveau, made from gamay, is the first wine available from the recent harvest—reportedly quite good in France, as the one I liked best so far proves: Drouhin 2015 Beaujolais Nouveau, balanced and juicy, best served cool—not quite as cold as a white wine—which freshens the fruit and makes it appealing to those who drink mostly white wines.  Nouveau also goes well with roast ham.
Pinot Noir:  Usually my first pick among reds for Thanksgivng for its round,  light oak and spicy berry flavors, which handsomely accommodate roast turkey or ham. The lighter ones are best for this occasion and 2013 is the vintage to look for, such as these charmers I’ve recently tasted: Olema, Meiomi, River Road (Sonoma),   King Estate Acrobat, Kudos, Left Coast Cellars, Willamette Valley Vyds (all from Oregon), Au Bon Climat, Belle Glos, Meiomi (Santa Barbara County)
Merlot:  Vanderbilt Reserve 2013 Merlot, Dry Creek Valley (Sonoma)  A little darker, a little richer and deeper than Pinot but its blackberry, slightly spicy flavors well-suit roast turkey.

After dinner:  Give your tummy a slight break before dessert and refresh your palate with a glass of chilled muscadine, one of these luscious prize-winning wines:  Cypress Bend’s Autumn, Campbell, or Catherine, Duplin’s Beaufort Bay and Hatteras Red or Hinnant Scuppernong.
                                         Blessings, everybody....and bon appetit!



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