Another week is coming to a close. Only 5 full weeks left in 2015...that sounds so crazy to say out loud. I am so excited for next week, though. My favorite brother and my favorite sister-in-law-to-be fly in on Wednesday! Yay!! I cannot wait. Not only does Thanksgiving happen next week, but we also are having an engagement party for Zacky and Steph. Mom and Dad are having it at their house and it is going to be catered by our favorite BYO restaurant in Skippack, 19 Bella. 19 Bella does small plates. I love small plate restaurants because you can just order a huge amount of dishes and share all those delicious flavors amongst the family (or friends!) at your table. Anyway, to say that I am excited for the party is an extreme understatement. Mom asked me to bake some of my famous cookies and I will also be helping to put together some centerpieces (I don't know if I told you this, but I took a flower arranging class in college (1 day a week for like 3 hours for a total of about 6 weeks), so I am pretty much a pro). Can't wait to see all the family and friends come together to celebrate an awesome couple.
Before this party, though, is Thanksgiving! My most favorite holiday (as I explained in last week's blog). I wasn't totally sure what I was going to write about this week, but after chatting with Casey for a bit, I came to the conclusion that I would make some recommendations for pairing our wines (and some other grape varieties that you would have to look elsewhere for) with dishes that you may find on your Thanksgiving table.
For the pre-dinner appetizers:
I am a big fan of cheese trays. If you do it right, it is the only thing you need during appetizer time (in my opinion, anyway). Stinky, unique, smooth, pungent, strong, mild, nutty, or...as you can see, I do not discriminate on the cheeses that I enjoy... Then you have all the cheese board accoutrements; crackers, marcona almonds, dried fruit crisps, duck prosciutto, etc. Finding a wine that can stand up to a lot of cheeses can be tough. I LOVE a Gewurtztraminer with a cheese tray. Like...hands down, my favorite type of wine with cheeses. I especially love it with cheeses made from goat milk, but I think it goes pretty well with most cheeses. It is a bummer, but Gewurtz doesn't grow well at all here and we will never plant it :(.
For the main event:
Soup: Dad usually covers the soup area. Typically we do something with at least a bit of cream in it. My personal favorite of his is called Zippy Corn Chowder (this recipe looks similar: http://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/zippy-corn-chowder). It is exactly what it sounds like and it is awesome. I think I would like to drink this alongside of our 2013 Chardonnay. There is a nice balance of acid in that wine that would cut through the richness of the soup.
Turkey: Typically at our dinner, we have 2 turkeys; one is a traditional turkey that is stuffed with onions and carrots and herbs, etc, and one is a deboned, pounded turkey breast that is rolled and stuffed with chopped chestnuts, sage, mushrooms, and sausage. I would want to drink our 2012/2013 Cabernet Franc with either of these turkeys.
Stuffing: Since we do not stuff our turkeys with bread stuffing, we make a stuffing side dish, and usually that stuffing has some kind of sausage (because..pork) that has been cooked up with some sage, finely chopped mushrooms, carrots, onions, and thyme. I would pair this with our 2012/2013 Cabernet Franc as well.
Lasagna: I am not sure if we are the only family that makes lasagna on Thanksgiving, but Mom started that tradition about 20 years ago and it stuck. My mom's lasagna is pretty epic. I would love it alongside of our 2010 Reserve Merlot.
Vegetables: We usually have brussels sprouts sometimes au gratin, sometimes with gruyere and bacon. We also always have Dad's famous stringbeans with carrots, garlic, and 1lb of bacon (are you recognizing a theme with the vegetables?). Mashed sweet potatoes with butter and salt (we don't do the marshmallows or brown sugar...or bacon...surpisingly). I would probably do our 2012/2013 Cabernet Franc here as well.
Dessert (my favorite): My motto with dessert is, "go big or go home". We do a caramel apple cheesecake (http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/bobby-flay/caramel-apple-cheesecake-recipe.html). Enough said. This is the recipe we have used in the past and it is amazing. Drink it with a tawny port. We also always have Mom's famous wet chocolate cake topped with cream cheese frosting. FAMOUS. Requested by all. It's a secret recipe, so don't even ask, but this recipe looks somewhat similar: http://www.marinmamacooks.com/2012/03/chocolate-cake-with-cream-cheese-frosting/. Drink with coffee and cream topped with a bit of Frangelico.
I hope that everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday. Make it a safe and happy one! Please be on the lookout for a special email next week regarding a Black Friday/Cyber Monday weekend Karamoor sale. You won't want to miss it. Until next time...