Giving Thanks With Wine

By Guest Blogger Judd Wallenbrock of Jessup Cellars & Humanitas Wines.

In Wine County, Thanksgiving is time to truly give thanks for another bountiful harvest.   The leaves on the vines turn the colors of a vibrant East Coast Fall and months of hard work are coming to a close.  It is a time to be thankful for family, friends, and good fortune.  It is also a time to be thankful for great food and of course, great wine.  Remember, this is the time to give thanks for what you have, not to pine for what you don’t have.  After all, isn’t that what Christmas is for?

Thanksgiving is at once inspiring, enlightening…and often tiring!  It can mean travel, packing, entertaining, cleaning, cooking and in general, a lot of work.  Selecting the right wine for this holiday is particularly important when dealing with…family!

Here are some things to consider when choosing your wine selections for Thanksgiving.  What political arguments are going to arise at the Thanksgiving table?  Choose wines accordingly as they can not only complement the food but fuel the direction of the debates.  And what wine goes best with the annual family ping-pong round robin tourney?  And what about the Dart tournament?  Pairing wine with the food is the easy part!  Try pairing wines with personalities, discussions, games -- that’s when the fun starts!

Key pairing -- which wines go with football games?  College ball, pro ball – this is going to take a lot of thought!  What goes great with a Saints game?  Or a Bronco game?  UCLA v Stanford on the day after Thanksgiving is a particularly big one for me.  One just can’t go willy nilly and pick any old wine!  Put some thought into it!

One thing is clear, we will be enjoying several Jessup wines with the 2009 Jessup Cabernet Sauvignon being front & center.  Every wine will be cracked open, sniffed, tasted, paired, discussed, and drained…into our mouths, of course.  Will the Cabernet stand up to the political jousting between the brothers?  How will the Pinot taste during the croquet challenge?  And no doubt, we will have several other selections representing as many wine varietals as possible.  A good time will be had by all…guaranteed.

Things to consider: 

Quantity:  it is critical to consider the quantity.  In college we developed a hypothesis that bordered on law:  If a little is good, more is better.  This seemed to apply to everything.  More = Better.  M=B.  When you think you have enough wine, get some more…it will never go to waste.

Quality:  know your audience and supply accordingly.  If they aren’t into wine — don’t bring plonk!  Use this as an opportunity to turn them on to some mind blowing wine that will convert them.  And if they don’t immediately ‘get it’ – remember from above — More = Better. 

Leftovers.  Seriously, is not the leftover turkey sandwich during a weekend of football nothing short of nirvana?  This is the time to get creative – a basic turkey on wheat with mayo or are we throwing cranberry sauce, avocados & pepperoncinis on this slice of heaven?  Food comas, football, family & vino – God Bless America!

Quite seriously, please do me a favor — during this celebration of bounty, please try to remember the two words ‘thanks’ and ‘giving’.  More than likely, if you are reading this, you have a lot for which to be thankful.  Let the people you love know it — tell them.  And raise a glass together, smile, and appreciate your life.  As they say, it is far better than the alternative.  As for ‘giving’ — take this opportunity to help someone else.  Donate food to your local Food Bank or clothes to a shelter.  Give an anonymous gift to Toys for Tots.  Send a letter to a one of our soldiers serving overseas.  And smile — always smile.  Cheers!

 

 

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