Monday, November 10, 2008

Wines for Thanksgiving! Time to Turkey Trot!

Today's Autumn Image reminds us that Thanksgiving isn't far away! It was taken at a fundraiser last fall for the Eric RicStar Winter Music Camp. Visit Winter Ramblings for links related to the camp!

Today was our periodic wine tasting and our hosts Anne and Clayton welcomed us, while our personal somnalier Dick offered wines for Thanksgiving.

Before dinner, the tasting! Dick brought six wines, and every single one of them was fabulous.

He explained that for Thanksgiving, one wants a wine that isn't too aggressive. The typical TG dinner has so many different flavors -- turkey (a mild poultry), stuffing (stronger, more herb-packed flavors), perhaps sugary sweet potatoes or other veggies.

Here are the wines and a few of our comments:

We started out with a Gewurztraminer from Firestone (2006, Santa Ynez Valley, California). Retail price: ____ (I will post the prices when Dick sends them to me, so if you're curious, check back in a couple of days. I can say that MANY of these wines were under $10.)

This was cool, crisp, not too sweet. with a bit of peppery spice.
Five minutes after we started, Barb said "This is the best one!"
Rick called it "Delicious" and we liked the light grapefruit fragrance -- not overpowering (frankly, I couldn't tell till someone mentioned it). It was an excellent white and would certainly work with all the flavors of a typical Thanksgiving.

If you prefer a Sauvignon Blank, then Cono Sur's 2007 (Chile) is a good one.
It was very neutral, light and smooth. It wasn't as spicy as the first but delicious. I found it took a couple of sips to appreciate but boy, it didn't disappoint.

Cono Sur's 2007 Pino Noir (again, from Chile's Central Valley) was a beautiful burgundy color and had a bicycle on the label, so of course I think of this one for Rick!
(He called it "Easy Drinking.") It was a soft flavor, nice with white meat, fish or pork, ripe cheese and even could go with game. I write "VERY nice" on my notes!

Dona Paula's Los Cardos Malbec 2006 was from the Mendoza Province in Argentina (fairly close to Chile).
"Mighty Fine" I wrote. Rick wrote "Complex" on his sheet. It was spicy and a delicious red. It would work well with roasts or aged cheese and was "gorgeous" with its deep ruby color.

The Borsao, 2006, from Borja, Spain won the pretty label contest.
When it came to aroma, Barb gave it a "W for Wonderful." I wrote "Exceptional" on my sheet, and Rick called it "Wonderful." It comes from the region of Aragon (as in Catherine of...) and would be great with beef, sausage, cheese, Latin dishes. Dick brought a map and Pat found Aragon for us!)
And frankly, I think it would work with the turkey, not being a purist in the white-bird, white-meat category. I wrote done "My favorite today" although I can't remember if I wrote that before I had number 6.

The Castano Monsatrell, 2005, from Spain was the very darkest of all.
It was opaque and extremely complex. Light didn't come through it. Barb called it "Robust" It was very rich. It was definitely Rick's favorite and boy, can I see why.

I would buy any of these for a wine exchange, to take with me as a hostess gift or to drink with joy. They were all terrific and all terrific buys.

Someone said, "The best kind of wine is the one I'm drinking. Love the one you're with." I'm not sure which of us came up with that (it wasn't me), but it sure rang true!

We had to get a photo of the women! From left to right, Pat, Anne, Barb, Me and Cheryl!

After the tasting, we headed up to the dining room for a fabulous dinner.
Barb brought Michigan salad...filled with yummy dried cherries, bleu cheese, pecans and more....
Anne made baked chicken in a slightly sweet sauce....
and pea-and-peanut salad...
...and my pumpkin trifle, based on a Paula Deen recipe. I won't post the recipe here (and I modify it a LOT!), but if you want it, post a comment saying so, and if you are "no reply" either leave your e-mail address or e-mail me separately! (I modify the recipe, but I'll send you both -- or it may still be on
Oh -- and wine!

Our host Clayton offered a toast and we all agreed...

We were thankful for our good friends, good wine and grand time!

And this one left with a smile on her face!


BONNIE K said...

You continue to do such cool things! The dinner looked wonderful!

Rosa said...

You have the nicest smile ever.

Beth said...

You do have a beautiful smile. And I just love your wine reviews and the pictures look like your having such a fun time! Thanks for sharing it with us!

Beth said...

too much fun.....
and only periodic??
this should be done at least once a month !!!!....hee hee

Herzblatt said...

I actually feel the wine.....only from looking your pictures.....*lol*....everything looks so comfortable and lovely.....we normally drink red wine more than white wine....and I love Italian or French wine....your meals look very tasteful....why can`t I come around to share it with you???? That would be great....perhaps in some hundred years it is possible...then I`ll come with speed of light !!! Please wait for me...:-))))
Best wishes from Germany

anno said...

Mmmmm... I love a good gewurztraminer, and boy, that sounds like a good one. But I also like red wines and good food, especially shared with good friends, and it looks like there was lots of everything excellent at this weekend party of yours. I'm with Beth, you need to do this at least once a month!

Becca said...

Jeanie, thanks for all the great wine recommendations! It was (almost!) as good as being there.

I love Michigan salads :) The whole dinner looked yummy!

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