I cannot believe Thanksgiving is this week! First off, because it felt like January all last week and now it feels like September outside. And secondly because this Fall has just FLOWN by! So here’s some tips on what to buy, bring or make for your upcoming friends- or family thanksgiving! Whether you’re asked to bring a dish or not, it’s never a good idea to show up to any dinner empty handed, and wine is always a great idea. Either it’ll be opened and served that night, or the hosts will take it as a gift and think of you when they do finally open the bottle. If you do bring a bottle, make sure to be clear what you intended it for – let the host know it’s a gift for them as a thank you for having you, or give them a reason to open it with dinner by telling them you’ve been looking for a perfect occasion to try this wine and you thought tonight would be perfect! Bringing a dish if you weren’t asked is a risky move – unless it’s cookies or something simple, the host most likely has the entire meal planned out and your favorite tuna casserole has no room on her table. So now that we’ve agreed that you’re bringing wine, let’s talk about what wine to bring!
Gruet Rose, New Mexico ~$17 – I know I’ve recommended this wine before, with good reason! It’s a sparkling wine from New Mexico, made by a French family in the traditional champagne style (methode champenoise). The rose is bright and fruity with notes of sweet strawberries and a clean, dry and refreshing finish. It’s fresh fruity notes are a perfect match for turkey!
Lucien Albrecht Cuvee Balthazar Pinot Blanc, Alsace, France ~$16 – This is one of my favorite whites for Thanksgiving. It has a rich, smooth texture and notes of white peach and asian pear. It is dry but has hints of sweet fruits and a bright, crisp acidity on the finish. I love it on it’s own, but it’s a great match for Thanksgiving fixins!
Beaujolais Nouveau, Georges Duboeuf, Beaujolais, France ~$12 – This is an obvious Thanksgiving wine! It is a celebration of the end of the fall harvest. It is released on the third Thursday of November every year, just in time for Thanksgiving! It is made with the Gamay grape, which tends to be light-bodied and fruit forward to begin with, but then is produced using carbonic maceration. The whole cluster grapes are thrown into a tank with some CO2 and covered. Grapes at the bottom are gently crushed by their own weight releasing more CO2 as they begin to ferment. All of this carbon dioxide causes the rest of the grapes to being fermenting in their own skin. This results in a light, fresh and super fruity red wine, making it the perfect match for turkey dinner! Georges Duboeuf has a BN every year, but there are also a handful of smaller producers. Just ask your local shop for their favorite, or grab Georges’; it’s the most popular.
Kings Estate Pinot Noir, Oregon ~$27 – This is one of my favorite Pinot Noirs and a perfect match for Thanksgiving. It has spice, plum, and caramel notes with a full, smooth palate. There are hints of cranberry and mocha that are balanced by a soft earthiness. It has enough body and texture to satisfy the merlot and cab drinkers at the table, while staying light and delicate enough for turkey and stuffing.
If you’re preparing for thanksgiving for a crowd, a great idea is a punch or Sangria. I’ve made this a few times, but this year I added a few extras that I think really made it!
Sparkling Pomegranate Punch
2 cups pomegranate juice
1 bottle late harvest Riesling
2 bottles Prosecco or Cava
6oz Black Fig Vodka
2 Tbsp vanilla simple syrup*
1/2 cup Pomegranate seeds
1 cup fresh cranberries or raspberries
*I make my own simple syrup and keep it on hand. It’s so easy to make, and just as easy to infuse! Just boil equal parts sugar and water until the sugar is melted, stirring constantly. If you want, add some rosemary sprigs, mint leaves, or vanilla to the boil, and then just store in the fridge in an air-tight container. I use an old soy sauce bottle because it’s easy to pour. If you’re using fresh herbs, let it infuse for a day in the fridge and then you’ll want to strain the syrup. I buy vanilla beans at whole foods and boil them with the syrup and then store them in the container, which makes for a nice presentation and then I reuse the beans for about three batches. Vanilla simple syrup is my favorite because it’s so subtle and versatile – and is great in a Manhattan! But in the summer, mint is a great syrup to have on hand!
Have a great Turkey day, ya’ll!