Wine & Food

Snooth User: outthere

The Thanksgiving thread

Posted by outthere, Nov 26, 2013.

So, do you have your wine planned out yet for the Thanksgiving meal? I'm going a bit off course this year as I am smoking my turkey so I'm probably going to go heavy on Syrah rather than Pinot Noir. But that could change based on input from the guests.

First off I'll likely pop a 2010 Copain Baker Ranch Syrah as it shows quite Pinot-like and I haven't tried one in almost 2 years.  I've also been eyeing an '07 Holdredge Lovers Lane Syrah that seems to be coming of age.

We may do a white starter but I doubt it since the crowd will be small as one is pregnant and another is recovering from surgery and cannot mix alc with her pain meds.

What about you?


Reply by Mike Madaio, Nov 26, 2013.

I'm a big believer in going relatively simple at TG and letting the food be the star. I too am smoking the bird.

I've got a Gewurz that has a lot of acid, a Bandol Rose and have been debating what to do about a red. There's a pretty good Languedoc 100% Syrah on sale in PA that is ready to go and solid. On the other hand I don't think Pinot will have any trouble standing up to smoked poultry.

Reply by JonDerry, Nov 27, 2013.

Have some 2011 Cru Beaujolais lined up, perhaps followed by some 2007 Oregon Pinot Noir and 2008 Hungarian Cabernet Sauvignon. Then, some 1961 and 1990 Bas Armagnac to cap it off.

Looking forward to not cooking this year (we're picking up from a local diner).

Reply by vin0vin0, Nov 27, 2013.

We're going to the Wife's Aunt's place in Asheville (NC) so we won't be cooking.

Most likely will open an '06 Iron Horse Brut with the apps, nothing like some nice bubbles to start the day off right.  For the meal, I'm playing it safe with an Austrian 2007 Weingut Steininger Riesling Kabinett.  We've had their Grüner Veltliner Grand Grü and were quited impressed so I'm looking forward to checking out this Riesling. 

Hope everyone has a great Thanksgiving/Hanukkah/Black Friday ...

Reply by outthere, Nov 27, 2013.

Oh, got a bottle of beer too.

Reply by Nodakgus, Nov 27, 2013.

Mondavi Reserve Pinot Noir is getting opened to enjoy with our bird.

Reply by EMark, Nov 27, 2013.

It's going to be pretty quiet in our household.  Mrs. EMark came back from our trip to NC with some sort of bug.  (The airplane trip back was no fun for her.)  So, she is going to be down for several more days.  

That means

  1. I am the chef for Thanksgiving.
  2. She's not going to want to eat very much, anyway.  We're opposites in that respect.  When I'm sick, I seem to want to eat all the time.
  3. She is not interested in wine at all.  (Taste buds are all out of whack.)

So, I have a half-baked plan for our Thursday meal, but my wine selection will be a "What do I feel like having right now," decision.

Reply by dkimball141, Nov 27, 2013.

We'll do a resling with dinner but I am sampling 3 different cabs to see which one I want to buy a couple  cases of.

Reply by Lucha Vino, Nov 27, 2013.

My Thanksgiving is a giant Filipino potluck at my mother in law's house.  It is a great family gathering with multitudes of Aunts, Uncles and cousins.  Everybody brings their special dish to contribute to the feast.

The Uncles hang out in the basement and eat "snacks" that most of us caucasians would not touch with a 10 foot pole.  Beer is the best pairing.  If I drink enough I might venture into eating the dried smelt...

The Aunties mostly hang out upstairs.  I don't know what they do since I have been adopted as an honory member of the Uncles.

The cousins all hang out in the mother-in-law apartment and play video games and do whatever else kids do these days.

I bring a bottle of wine to distract the Uncles.  It is usually something fruity and red.  Australian Shiraz or inexpensive California Zinfandel (sorry about that) keeps them occupied while I pop open what I want to drink.  I don't try to pair it with the food.  If you think our traditional Thanksgiving meal is a pairing challenge you should see a Filipino potluck! 

i think I will choose a Washington wine (surprised?) considering all the chatter between Eric Asimov and Blake Gray about drinking American wine for Thanksgiving.  One thing is for sure, i will pick out something that Mrs. Lucha Vino will enjoy to keep her happy and keep my approval rating high for the holidays!

Happy Thanksgiving everybody!


Reply by outthere, Nov 28, 2013.

The recipe said let the Turkey chill in the sink for a couple hours before roasting.

Reply by EMark, Nov 28, 2013.

That is hilarious, OT.  Did you set up a TV so that he could see the Lions/Packers game from there?

Lucha, I completely agree with you strategy regarding domestic tranquility.  There is nothing but up side to taking care of Mrs. LV.

Reply by outthere, Nov 29, 2013.

Had a great Thanksgiving. Spent the entire day (and the previous evening) cooking and everything turned out great.

I baked pies:


Did Yams, Stuffing, Mashed Potatoes, Wine Glazed Brussels Sprouts, Gravy from the pan drippings etc..


Stuffed the bird with some great aromatics after a 36hr wet brine...


And let her smoke away...


Until it was just right!


Our three wines for Thanksgiving were Syrahs due to the smoking of the bird.

2009 Myriad Syrah Las Madres Esther Block - Followed over 2 days. Initially it was big boned but pretty shut down with the oak being prevalent. After about 4 hours the fruit started taking over with black currant, blueberry, black olive and wild game. Palate was big and powerful supported well by the oak and showing that great Las Madres roasted meat, blood and tapenade. Still a baby though. Could easily go another 10 years. Wishing this wasn't my last bottle.


2007 Holdredge Syrah Lovers Lane Vineyard - Open 8 hrs. Dark ruby, slightly cloudy. Big aromatics of blueberry, violet, black olive, forest floor, a hint of green bell pepper and oak. Medium texture, ripe, peppery, blueberry, tar, oak, juicy, tangy, layered, firm tannins. Showing really well though it has the structure to improve for another 4-5 years. Nice effort.

2010 Copain Syrah Baker Ranch - Open 8 hrs. Elegant blue and red fruited nose with a heavy dose of cinnamon. Palate has really evolved over the past 20 months offering soft red cherry, black raspberry, white pepper, using elegant again for the texture, wonderful acidity. Overall much more restrained style than the Holdredge and Myriad. Finishes with some bread dough notes, subtle blackberry and dusty tannins. As an entire package I think it is in it's prime right now and should drink best for the next 4 years. Others may disagree but I like where it is right now with the air.


How was yours?

Reply by JonDerry, Nov 29, 2013.

Glad to hear all went well OT, how many people did you have over?

We picked up food from a local diner so I avoided cooking again. The foodies were all happy with what we got and the Turkey was cooked about perfectly so we might just do it again next year.

As for the wine, the '11 Lapierre Beaujolais worked very well, just needs a little more age. Was glad I decanted, and looking forward to adding more for future turkey days. We finished up with some 1961 Bas Armagnac that was just super. 

Reply by EMark, Nov 29, 2013.

Well with Mrs. EMark in sickbay, U-No-Hu was resposible for our Thanksgiving day meal.  I must say I did OK.  All by myself I:

  • Made cranberry sauce.  (OK, Mrs. EMark was closely coaching me.)
  • Boiled some potatoes.
  • "Nuked" one of those cute little pumpkins that they sell in all the supermarkets this time of year.
  • Scraped out the little pumpkin into the potatoes and mashed them all together.
  • Nuked a bag of frozen peas.
  • Opened a box of Stove Top and made dressing/stuffing.
  • Took out a leftover roasted chicken that we picked up at Von's on Tuesday.

All in all it was a pretty good meal.  At least it went well with the football.  I can't remember the last time the Lions beat the Packers on Thanksgiving day.

For wine I polished off the dregs of a couple Portuguese examples that I had been nursing for the past couple days--a white Dao and a red Douro.  Both were pretty good.  The red was better, and both of them died with the cranberry sauce.

For dessert Mrs. Emark had peanut butter M&Ms (a new favorite), and EMark had a banana.  Both of us are much too lazy to bake pies.  So, I admire you, OT.

Reply by outthere, Nov 29, 2013.

JD, 7 of us sat down for dinner. Very manageable, had set up for possibly 9.

Mark, Dava's arm is in a sling from shoulder surgery so I had to make everything, including the pie crust, from scratch!

Reply by EMark, Nov 29, 2013.

Well done, OT.

Reply by edwilley3, Dec 3, 2013.

Starting on Wednesday night and going through Sunday I had the following:

  1. 2006 Peter Michael "La Carriere" Chardonnay
  2. 2007 Peter Michael "L'Apres-Midi" Sauvignon Blanc (ok, with a touch of Semillon)
  3. Bollinger Special Cuvee (Question: If it's the basic bottle why is it "Special"?)
  4. Morlet Grande Reserve Premier Cru Champagne (weird bottle with a cheesey note)
  5. 1980s bottle of Krug Rose (not corked, but dead nonetheless due to open air storage)
  6. 1997 Antinori Guado al Tasso Magnum (not holding as well as expected - tasted like an amarone)
  7. 2009 Red Mare Cabernet Sauvignon (best tasting of the 3 bottles I had and finally coming into its own)
  8. 2010 Bell Wine Cellars Merlot (ok, this was more of a "finish" as the bottle had been opened before Wednesday and slumbered a bit in the cellar - it needed time though due to all the spices in this vintage)
  9. 1998 Domaine Santa Duc Gigondas "Prestige Des Hautes Garrigues" (gone - simple fruit with a metallic edge running through it)
  10. 1998 Chateauneuf du Pape, producer not written down (this one was beautiful with loads of sweet cherries and strawberries - delish)
  11. 2002 D'Arenberg "Dead Arm" Shiraz  (jam-fest and mature but holding) 
  12. 2003 Hewitt Cabernet Sauvignon (pretty good but not overwhelming)
  13. 1994 Fonseca Port (gloriously hedonistic nose but probably should age another 5 years if you have it cellared - if not cellared I think it could be ready)
  14. 1994 Taylor's Port (better integrated on the palate with a less interesting nose than the Fonseca - drink or hold)
  15. A couple of Silverados from the 1980s just to see how it was. The reserve version had some good smells in it but obviously had a problem from a while back. Bad bottle that could have been much tastier.
  16. 1977 Heitz cabernet (no, not Martha's). This tasted like old Bordeaux that had gone over the edge and lost its fruit. 
  17. Delamain "Pale & Dry" XO Cognac (one of my favorites)
  18. 2009 Tablas Creek Roussanne (fun, off dry white great for Turkey Day)
  19. 200? Tablas Creek Esprit de Beaucastel (good flavors but I think they got the grape proportion wrong - need a touch more grenache)
  20. Delamotte Blanc de blancs NV (LOVELY stuff - I am falling in love with Delamotte bottle by bottle. The balance is great with perfumey chardonnay and luscious round pinot flavor.)

Is that enough?

Reply by SecretSanta, Dec 3, 2013.


Reply by Tbandcwfjourney, Dec 6, 2013.

Food pretty successful, plating/photography ok, wine not so much.

Wild mushroom crostini 

Roasted butternut squash soup with pear chorizo compote

had a amontillado sherry with these because i used it in the recipes.  i say a because i didn't know what to look for and needed it for cooking.  we were not fans, but will try again.

Red oak salad with citrus goat cheese and maple vinaigrette

Turkey roulade, parsley artichoke pesto roll, smashed celeryroot and potatos with gravy

i won't mention the wine other than to say we didn't like it.  the story is i am terrible a "tasting rooms".  these people pour their heart and soul into making the wine and i just can't say no their faces, so even when we don't really like anything, we tend to buy something.  when we get home we discover that it's worse than we thought :-(

Lemon chiffon orange cake

Garfield Estates Vin de Glaze, it's hubbies wine candy so we had to have it.

Reply by EMark, Dec 6, 2013.

Your celebration looks fantastic TB . . ., and your pics are great.  

In her prior life Mrs. EMark's professional responsibilities included assisting in photo shoots of recipes that she had developed.  She spent many hours with photographers and food stylists.  A couple things she mentioned to me about these events:

  • It generally took a long eight-hour day to get two acceptable shots.
  • "White foods" are the hardest to photograph.
  • Since it takes hours to set up and get the shot you want.  How do you photograph a dish with vanilla ice cream?  (Especially, when you consider that it is surrounded by hot lights.)  Answer:  substitute mashed potatoes for the ice cream.

As a rule, I think that the photos that people post here were "point and click"--with their little digital cameras, or with their telephones or with their iPads--and are pretty darned good.

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