• Thanksgiving…


    I’m thankful for wine, friends, and family, not necessarily in that order.


    When you look back at past Thanksgivings can you differentiate from one or another? Do they all blend together into just ‘Thanksgiving?’


    I propose a change to your yearly ritual of turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce, pecan pie, meatball sandwiches, turkey wiener Jello molds, drunk aunts and goofy uncles, littleuns screaming, fire alarms ringing, football, biscuits, fried onion green bean casserole, and grandpa Joe’s dentures in the chocolate milk again.




    Do something to set this year apart from all the others. Something that is so ridiculous or fun yet different that it shouts ‘remember the year we did…’


    Have everyone bring an item for trade, or make everyone tell an anecdote that they’ve never told anyone before. Fix a dish that makes absolutely no sense whatsoever like chocolate chip waffles or grilled shrimp. Have everyone wear tropical clothing. Make it cooky hat day or crank call relatives that didn’t show up.


    If you do something that leaves a memory marker so emblazoned in your mind that you can’t possibly forget it, then you will be able to set apart this Thanksgiving from all the rest.


    As far as wine goes it might be too late to get to the grocery store or wine shop, but if there is still time I highly recommend Nebbiolo (as I do every year) with turkey. The bold tannins yet light fruit go perfectly with the protein rich meat that is  oh so delicately flavored.


    I’ve discussed before how Barolo and Barbaresco on the label means that the grape varietal is 100% Nebbiolo, so when perusing the shelves in the Italian wine section look for any of the three (Barolo, Barbaresco or Nebiolo.)

    One of my favorite producers who I’ve mentioned before is Etore Germano and one of Sergio’s most well reviewed vineyards is really pricey at about $65, but you do want to impress the fam don’t you?

    2006 Ettore Germano ‘Prapo’ Barolo
    “The 2006 Barolo Prapo flows with deep layers of dark fruit, iron, smoke and tar. This is a decidedly powerful, brooding Barolo that shows the muscular side of Nebbiolo for which Serralunga is well-known. The finish is round, generous and hugely rewarding. Anticipated maturity: 2014-2026.”-  93 points Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate

    He also makes an entry level Nebbiolo which K&L Wines has for $25 and will do in a pinch

    2010 Ettore Germano Langhe Nebbiolo

    The Germano winery is a few hundred yards north of Serralunga. Sergio Germano is typical of the new generation of producers in the Langhe; after completing six years of study at the school of enology in Alba he made wine for a few years at Fontanafredda, one of the largest wineries in the area, before returning to the family winery in 1993. This is 100% Nebbiolo, as are Germano’s stellar Barolos. But this is from just outside the zone. It is pure and driven as the snows that sit on these vineyards each winter. Roses, tar, black fruits, earth and a firm though somehow also silky finish.


    I also greatly enjoy Pinot Noir with turkey because they can be so light and complex that when eaten with a meal need something that won’t overpower the amazingness of it (just in case you are wondering I did coin the word amazingness and have petitioned Merriam-Webster who responded with some rather R rated words and some things I should do to myself that I won’t be repeating, but if you want to read the response letter just email me at realfoodwine@gmail.com and I will reply with the letter I received as well as the initial request for the addition of the word to the English language.)

    This Pinot is a fabulous deal for only $17

    2009 Hitching Post ‘Hometown’ Santa Barbara Pinot Noir

    “Hitching Post’s 2009 Pinot Noir Hometown is an attractive, mid-weight wine laced with sweet red cherries, flowers and sweet spices. It shows good depth and balance to match its juicy personality. Best of all, it is a terrific value in Pinot Noir. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2016.” – Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate


    You might say “but I’ve already started eating!”

    To that I would have to reply, there is always tomorrow. With all the left overs I recommend making burritos. Take a flour tortilla and fill it with a little bit of everything. Lightly saute the now wrapped leftovers in a pan to crisp the burrito. Eat with either a Pinot Noir or a Nebbiolo. There, problem solved.

    Thank you,

    Jonathan Hood