Monday, November 24, 2008

Thanksgiving greetings from the Wine Country

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday.

I love the idea of taking stock of your blessings and being thankful for them. Spending the day with family and friends without having the pressure of exchanging gifts is an added benefit.

Living in the Wine Country adds to the charm of the holiday season because we have spectacular autumn colors here. The deciduous trees are not the only source of color as it was when I grew up in the Midwest.

In Sonoma County our hills are covered with rows grape leaves whose colors turned from green to yellows, oranges, and brilliant scarlet. Our days can be chilly or warm while the evenings and nights are cold, but not bitterly so.

Last week I took advantage of a warm sunny day and ate lunch outdoors. I am grateful for that opportunity because my mother cannot do the same back in Michigan, for this time of year there means overcast skies, drizzling rain or a few snow flurries.

For those wondering what kind of wine to serve with their Thanksgiving meals, here a a few links that might help. My favorite wine writer Dan Berger recommends Beaujolais Nouveau and a blog I just discovered called Good Wine Under $20 has a post dedicated to inexpensive wines appropriate for your average Thanksgiving Day menus.

I am a fierce Sonoma County partisan when it comes to wine to the point where I consider wine from the Napa Valley as being an import, but I would like to share recommendations for dessert wines and my favorites do not come from Northern California at all, but rather from the hot Central Valley.

The two dessert wines that I adore are made by Quady Winery in Madera, California. These two wines are designed for pairings with different foods and if done correctly are incredibly sinful. These wines should also be widely available nationwide at any good wine shop, so I will not tease you with describing wines that you cannot obtain easily.

Essensia is an orange muscat and is the perfect accompaniment for a light cheesecake or peach cobbler or pear tart. You will taste oranges, peaches, and the fuzz on an apricot when you sip this luscious orange colored elixir.

And then there is my favorite dessert wine made from black muscat named Elysium.

The color is a deep purple and the nose of the wines smells of roses.

Pair it with anything that has raspberry and dark chocolate. That combination is to die for.

Quady has other dessert wines which you may enjoy as well.

Have a safe and delicious Thanksgiving and may you be surrounded by those who love and appreciate you whether that be family or friends.



Julie K. Rose said...

I'm with you on the Sonoma partisanship! I'd recommend a Russian River pinot noir to go with the turkey dinner - Porter Creek is excellent, and relatively inexpensive.

L.C.McCabe said...


We just picked up four bottles of Pinot Noir from Lynmar this weekend and will be serving that on Thursday.

A friend of my husband described Lynmar's Pinot Noir as "liquid sex."

I don't know that I'd go quite that far, but it is very nice.

Thanks for the tip on Porter Creek wine. I'll have to pick up a bottle the next time I'm in my favorite wine shop.

Have a great holiday!