Let’s start at the beginning. Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. Why you ask? What could be more pure would be my response. Spending a day and sharing a meal with family and friends with as little commercialism as could possibly be imagined. No pressure to deliver the perfect gift like Christmas. Even Mother’s Day needs a card and likely a brunch spot. Valentine’s Day? Yip! Thanksgiving? Just show up, preferably with a big appetite, and spend some time with those near and dear to you. That’s it…
And the meaning of the holiday itself? It serves as a reminder to be cognizant of all that we have to be thankful for. I consider myself to be a self aware individual but yet from time to time still find myself getting wound up in the day to day of things and losing perspective of the bigger picture. Sure maybe I would prefer this house or that car. Or maybe those wines! Those all matter little. I am a lucky man with a beautiful wife I love, two great kids that I adore and so much more. If anything it is a shame that there is only one holiday a year to celebrate that. Anyone want to join me in my efforts to start commandeering other holidays? Christmas could be Thanksgiving II. Valentine’s Day could be Thanksgiving III. Anyone?
If Thanksgiving has a single flaw it may be the pressure that is placed on finding just the right wine to accompany the meal. Article after article of Thanksgiving wine recommendations hit the wire. Recommending this Pinot Noir or that Riesling. Now I know these articles are very beneficial to some and for them I am glad they are available. That said when I think back to yesterday I wonder what could possibly be the “perfect pairing” with the foods I saw on the table. Salad, green beans with bacon, mashed potatoes and gravy, sweet yams, cranberries, applesauce, jello mold and of course the turkey. Personally I’m not even sure milk could handle all of these pairings…
So what do I recommend you ask? An easy decision for me! Pick your favorite wines and share the enjoyment you get from them with those you love. Here’s what was on our table:
- 2009 Natural Process Alliance Sauvignon Blanc ($13)
- 1997 Navarro Vineyards Pinot Noir “Méthode à l’Ancienne” ($27)
- 2007 Navarro Vineyards Pinot Noir “Méthode à l’Ancienne” ($25)
- 2005 Frank Family Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon (~$40)
The NPA Suavignon Blanc was my selection and was as always “fun”. My 81 year old father-in-law digs it as does my 21 year old niece and everyone in between. The ’97 Navarro was nice but certainly passed its prime. My wife’s cousin brought the 2007 Navarro (<- she’s a keeper) which while young is an already an excellent Pinot. This also offered everyone an exceptional learning opportunity to taste these wines a decade apart. The difference was stark. Starting with the color of the wines, from the nose to the plate and all the way through. The Frank Family was new to me but funny enough had a few family tie-ins. From the same Swiss heritage (my wife’s heritage) to their location near Larkmead where the aforementioned keeper cousin got married. The wine definitely let’s you know that it is a Napa Cab straight out of the gate. Big and bold on the palate this one has firm tannins and just enough acidity to keep it balanced. This wine is certainly full bodied and shows some spice throughout before the oak kicks in on a creamy, vanilla finish.
So there you have it. Now it is time to thank all of you. For following along, letting me know what you think and recommending me your favorite wines. I always enjoy hearing from you and would love to hear what was on your table in the comments below. I certainly hope you and your families had a great Thanksgiving!