Friday, November 24, 2006

Thanksgiving at it's best

Another Thanksgiving has past. Still full when waking up this morning I reflect on the meal and wine served. My mother in law had put together yet another wonderful traditional Thanksgiving dinner. The munchies served during the afternoon while mingling with family and friends, and putting the finishing touches to dinner, was shrimp with a homemade cocktail sauce (the best I've had), deviled eggs with a touch of refreshing, spicy horseradish and a great little green onion-cheese spread with crackers. The men had a couple of beers with this while watching the football, while I just had to taste the wine that was to be served with dinner. The wine in question was Carr Vineyards and Winery 2004 Turner Vineyard, Santa Rita Hills Pinot Noir. Carr has produced wine since 1999 but this is their first vintage from this particular vineyard, only 129 cases produced. It had ripe, red berries on the nose promising a wonderful fruity wine. It pulled through as expected on the palate as a medium bodied, very straight forward fruity Pinot with red fruit and berries, and a good level of tannins providing a medium lenght finish. It did lack a little in complexity with not quite enough spice, but being the first vintage I see great potential in this wine. It was a really great red to pair up with all the different foods on the buffet and everybody seemed to enjoy it as much as I did. For the few around the table that preferred a glass of white with dinner, the 2004 Cambria Estate Chardonnay Katherine's Vineyard was served. I did not get a chance to taste this but it got great reviews from the guests having white (and having tasted Cambria wines at several earlier occasion I suspect I would agree with them if having tasted this wine).

Coming back to the food. This year my mother in law had opted for a oven baked turkey (last year we had a deep fried) which turned out succulent and juicy with great flavor. We had all the traditional side dishes, mashed potatoes, green beans with bacon, stuffing, gravy made from the drippings, cranberry jam, fruit salad and homemade rolls with honey and butter. For dessert (of course I had to try them all even though I was stuffed...) we had cherry pie, apple pie and my favorite for the evening, a pumpkin, banana mousse pie. I am not a huge fan of pumpkin pie but I will always have a little slice because it is traditional Thanksgiving food and kind of belongs on the table. This years pie however I could not get enough of. Light and airy with a not to heavy pumpkin taste and banana shining through on the palate this was the perfect ending to the meal. A guest and dear friend of the family brought this treat, and when asked if she would share the recipe, I was told that it is from one of Barefoot Contessa's cook books. So now I know what to go shopping for...
Rolling out of the door later last night, no matter how stuffed we were, we were already looking forward to next years Thanksgiving and another fantastic feast enjoyed with family and friends.

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