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Gobble, Swirl, Sip – Thanksgiving Wine Tasting

November 7th, 2010 · 2 Brilliant Opinions · Wine

Yesterday, we had a great time at a Thanksgiving for Wine Lovers seminar at Astor Wines.  We signed up a few weeks ago and I thought it was a prepared meal  with selected wines to taste. Imagine my surprise when we arrived and were shown to the kitchen, where our aprons were waiting for us!  The seminar was attended by eleven people and led by Michael and Kimberly.

Big P was in his element in Astor’s commercial kitchen.   I had to restrain him from trying to take over the course from Michael – who was extremely gracious during this five hour marathon event.  Michael gave us some tips on roasting a turkey – use fresh not frozen and preferably free-range or organic.  If you are feeding a large crowd he recommends two smaller 10-12 pound turkeys versus a 20 pounder as it is more difficult to keep a big bird moist.  Michael divided us into two groups and we prepared the following Thanksgiving menu.  

Oyster Stew with Riesling

Roast Turkey with Fig and Sausage Stuffing (and Gravy!)

Sweet Potato Bread

Spiced Cranberry Port Chutney

Roasted Winter Vegetables

Apple Cranberry Pie (with a double crust pastry)

Pumpkin Pie with Bourbon Marshmallow topping

While the Astor Center staff arranged our glorious meal, Kimberly led us through the wine tasting.   We tasted the following wines:

Saumur Brut, Non Dosé, Ch. La Tour Grise 2000 (Loire, France) – made from Chenin Blanc grapes, this light sparkling wine with floral overtones pairs well with hors d’ouevres or a soup appetizer.

Dönnhoft Reisling (Germany) – a not overly sweet white wine  to balance the sweetness in sweet potatoes and cranberry sauce.

Viré-Clessé, Dom. de Roally 2008 (Burgundy, France) – this white Burgundy is barrel fermented, rich and oaky but balanced. A nice full bodied white to compliment the cream, butter  and richness in Thanksgiving meals.  (Loved it, complimented everything on my plate -this baby was coming home with me!)***

Roxbury Russet, West County Cider (Massachusetts, USA) – this hard cider is light – 7.8% alcohol.  A lot of the sugar is fermented out and its crisp fall flavor would work well with pork or ham.

Belle Pente, Pinot Noir 2008 (Oregon, USA) – this new world Pinot Noir has tons of  rich red berry flavors. It pairs nicely with turkey, stuffing, gravy and I think would be great if you are also serving collard greens.  (This new world red also was a winner for me!)***

VdP d’Oc Rouge “Escapade”, Gibert 2008 (Languedoc-Roussillon, France) – this “old world” – red is higher in acidity and tanins. It is not as intense as the California Cabernets.  This would pair nicely with heavy cream or cheese dishes like macaroni and cheese. Big P said it made his cheeks “smile.”

Our last wine was a dessert wine, Vin Santo “Dolce Ariana”, Fattoria Viticcio 2003 – made in Tuscany, Italy*** – When choosing a dessert wine, try to achieve the same level of sweetness, so the wine does not overwhelm the dessert or vice versa.  Paired with the Apple Cranberry Pie we made, this was super delicious.  In the end, this dessert wine made it into my shopping cart with the white burgundy and Belle Pente Pinot Noir.

Interested in receiving a recipe for any of the entrees?  Leave a brilliant comment below letting me know what you are serving up this Thanksgiving and I will email the recipe(s) to you. (As Big P likes to say – fair exchange is no robbery!)  Cheers!


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2 Comments so far ↓

  • calvin

    you really got my taste buds jumping….i would love to get the recipe for the apple pie …it will be my contribution for thanksgiving dinner…..great pictures.

  • Ann

    A guy cooking dessert – definitely a keeper! Thanks for reading.

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