Celebrating Thanksgiving

We love a good reason to celebrate, and no celebration is complete without a bottle of wine…or two.

Thanksgiving will be celebrated on November 24th this year, and although we as a nation don’t celebrate Thanksgiving, our friends in the USA and Canada will be tucking into some turkey and pumpkin pie, so I think we need to recommend some wines to enjoy along the way.

Originally Thanksgiving was to celebrate the fruits of the previous harvest, although there is some debate regarding the original date of the first thanksgiving, most date it back to a celebration by the pilgrims and puritans of Massachusetts in 1621.

Today it is a public holiday in North America, and a good time to get together with friends and family members, tuck into some delicious food, drink some delicious wine, and watch some good old American football on the television. Not forgetting the famous Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade that offers entertainment for all the family. It’s also celebrating its 90th year in 2016.

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Thanksgiving is a big deal in the USA, it’s not just a warm-up for Christmas as many people suggest here in the UK, for many families it’s just as important as December 25th, and for some, it’s more important.

So what will you find on a Thanksgiving menu? You’ll definitely see a turkey, with cranberry sauce a-plenty. You’ll see stuffing, sprouts, yams, sweet potato, mashed potato, sweet corn, butternut squash, all with a healthy serving of gravy. For afters, they’ll be plenty of pecan pie and pumpkin pie to see you through to leftovers on the Friday.

Wine Pairings

If you’re looking to pair a wine with your meal, then it really must be a wine from across the pond. Fortunately we currently stock 27 wines from the USA. One of the benefits of turkey is that it can be served with red or white wine. You could try a nice Pinot Noir of course, a lighter red that will compliment rather than overpower. If you’re looking to really push the boat out, try our Failla Pinot Noir Savoy, from the cool climate vines of Anderson Valley in California.

  • Quick tip. Place the Pinot Noir in the fridge 15 minutes before serving, it opens up all the expressive red-fruit flavours.

Thanksgiving is a time for family, and every family has a strictly white wine only member. Luckily, that’s not a problem in this situation. You can pair turkey with most whites, put to get the full benefit, we recommend putting it with either a night crisp Sauvignon, or a light Chardonnay. The USA is renowned for their Chardonnay, so it would be a shame not to use it.

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We highly recommend the “Highway 99 Lodi Chardonnay 2014”. It’s incredible smooth with layers of citrus tang, resulting in a creamy backdrop. You could elect to spend £20-£30 on a bottle of premium Chardonnay from California, but why bother? You can have all the flavour, all the style and all the texture for just £9.99 instead (It’s actually on sale for £7.99 at the moment)

  • Quick tip. If you have a dry sparkling wine to hand, this is a lovely compliment to turkey and all the fixtures.

So if you need an excuse to get together with friends and family in celebration, Thanksgiving is the perfect occasion. This year I’ll be tucking into a full turkey dinner with a handful of American wines on the 24th of November.

NFL Football

If you’re partial to a little American Football like myself, there are three games to keep you occupied. The Minnesota Vikings will visit the Detroit Lions. The Washington Redskins will visit the Dallas Cowboys and finally, the Pittsburgh Steelers will head to Indianapolis to take on the Colts. The Macy’s Day Parade will kick off at 2pm for all those who would rather avoid the football.

Whether you celebrate Thanksgiving or not, it’s never a bad thing to get friends and family together for a good meal and some even better wine!

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