Happy belated Thanksgiving friends!
Yes, I know that was a week ago, and the drastic change in weather has been quite a jolt to the system and makes it feel like it was a lifetime ago. A week ago, it was sunny and warm, with no jackets required. Today it was so cold I needed to pull out a toque (for those outside of Canada, that is a winter hat, as seen here) and boots. Not. A. Fan.
Let’s go back to last week then, shall we?
Not only was the weather beautiful, but it was the national holiday where taking the day off work is mandatory to stuff yourself full of turkey, stuffing, yams and, of course, wine.
This year, we hosted my in-laws for Thanksgiving for the first time. I have to admit, I didn’t relish the idea. I don’t have much experience cooking for large groups of people. Growing up, it was just me and my mom (and I don’t think I did much cooking at the time) and now it’s just me and the husband. Usually I’m just cooking for two, and sometimes I will double a recipe just to have enough leftovers for lunch (there’s only so many times you can eat a sandwich in a week before it gets tiresome). But for Thanksgiving, I would be cooking for EIGHT. I was intimidated, to be sure.
If there was one thing I was confident about, it was the wine. I stocked up the day before with a bunch of wines I thought would go well with the meal.
This is one of my go-to white wines. Plus it’s made right here in Ontario. At $12 a bottle, you really can’t go wrong. Plus it’s one of those varietals that is a bit more obscure (especially in Ontario), and therefore more intriguing. This pinot blanc is medium bodied and nicely acidic, with lots of fruit on the nose and the palate like pear, peach and lemon. It’s easy to drink on its own, and went quite nicely with Thanksgiving dinner. Side note for you Air Miles collectors: you can get 5 bonus Air Miles until November 7 when you buy this wine at the LCBO.
This is one of my favourite bubblies, maybe because I am cheap and hello – it’s only $13.95! Also, it’s super easy to drink. I love drinking this before a meal, maybe with some canapés. One of our favourite food pairings with this is melon and prosciutto – a typically Italian appetizer. We opened this bottle right before we sat down to dinner, to get the digestive juices going. I ended up just drinking it right through the meal (bubbly doesn’t keep, might as well finish the bottle!) and was pleasantly surprised to discover that it went well with almost everything. I had a quasi-orgasmic food pairing moment when drinking this after a bite of red onion from my greek salad (I know, an unorthodox Thanksgiving item, but I was sticking with dishes I knew I couldn’t mess up). Keep this in mind people: red onion + prosecco = love. Who knew!?
I hadn’t tried this red blend from South Africa before, but I found it in the Vintages section and had heard good things, so I added it to my cart. We opened it with dinner the night before and quite enjoyed it, and finished it with Thanksgiving dinner. Everyone loved it! And I love the description from the LCBO website: “A longstanding Vintages customer favourite, this dramatically unconventional wine blends Sangiovese from Darling, Barbera and Nebbiolo from Paarl, and Cabernet Sauvignon from Stellenbosch. As a casual quaffer with summer foods, it can’t be bleat – ahem, beat.”
In the end, the Thanksgiving meal went off without a hitch, and no one got sick, so in my mind, it was a success. I even had extra bottles of wine leftover, which sadly didn’t make it to the Thanksgiving table:
- Megalomaniac Homegrown Riesling (riesling is the typical Thanksgiving white varietal recommendation)
- Kim Crawford Pinot Noir (pinot is just one of those reds that goes with anything)
- Palacios Remondo La Vendimia (a Spanish rioja made of garnacha and tempranillo grapes – it is one of my aunt’s favourites and used to only be available at the SAQ, so I just had to grab a bottle when I saw it in the Vintages section at the LCBO).
I should take a moment to give a special shout-out to my mother-in-law, who made my life much easier by making a delicious brined turkey at her place and bringing it for dinner, so all I had to do was re-heat it. Thanksgiving is a breeze when you don’t have to worry about making a turkey!! Though I was sort of looking forward to trying out this recipe:
What wines did you serve with your Thanksgiving meal? Did you have the traditional turkey or did you do something different?
Hope it was a great meal with great wine! Happy wining!