Fall has descended and brought with it the arrival of Thanksgiving. A warm holiday where precious memories with family and friends are created over delicious and appetizing platters of food. Thanksgiving hosts and hostesses desire to have their homemade delicacies greeted with oohs and aahs as endless platters flow out of the kitchen. Every year, cooks are presented with the arduous task of Thanksgiving menu planning and with this brings questions such as to go with a traditional meal or create new traditions. In my home, we have made it a tradition to make non-traditional menus for Thanksgiving. Each year we seek to create new and fresh menus based on the spirit of sharing and enjoying good food with friends and family. Below, I have gathered a nice blend between old and new recipes to create no-fail Thanksgiving food & wine pairings.
A perfect non-traditional starter would be a Caramelized butternut Squash and Gorgonzola Crostini. It’s the perfect seasonal bite with butternut squash, thyme, sage, cranberries and Gorgonzola cheese. Pair it with Antica Napa Valley Chardonnay, this wine is bright in aromas and flavors while minting a broad-shouldered character. This pairing works well because the rich sweetness of the butternut squash and warm gorgonzola cheese allows the flavors and aroma to transform into an elegant and refreshing glassful of wine.
Starting with tradition, try a Brined and Roasted Turkey. There is nothing less appetizing than sinking your teeth into a piece of dry turkey meat. This recipe will ensure your turkey is both moist and delicious with subtle flavors that will leave them craving more. Try pairing it with a Belle Glos Meiomi Pinot Noir or try another Pinot Noir of your choosing. Pinot Noir wines are generally light to medium bodied in weight, which allows it to not overpower the turkey which could sometimes happen with heavier or fruitier wines like Cabernet Sauvignon, for example.
Pumpkin pie is a staple in many homes for Thanksgiving, but try switching it up with a Pumpkin Chocolate Cheesecake. It is a wonderful balance of keeping tradition while creating a new tradition this holiday season. Pair it with a Graham’s Vintage Port or another Port of your choicing, which is a popular fortified dessert wine with a deep red color and rich, ripe flavors of dark berries, plums and spices. It will be a perfect balance with the airy sweet richness of the pumpkin chocolate cheesecake.
Lastly, as we are preparing our menus and guest lists for the big day, lets take time to remember those people who are less fortunate. Many local shelters and food Banks desperately need food donations this time of year and would welcome donations via cash, food or your time to help feed their clients and help to make their Thanksgivings memorable.
In the comments below, please feel free share your favorite Thanksgiving meal or traditions you have enjoyed over the holidays.