' Santa Ynez Wine Country - Blog
Eat What You Love, Thankfully,
And The Wine That Goes With
By Cheryl K Stauffer
SYV Wine Country Association

It wasn’t until 1863 that the Thanksgiving holiday, as we know it, was born. That’s when Abraham Lincoln declared it a national holiday to be celebrated annually.
Let the new traditions begin. 
Over the past 151 years, the original low fat, organically grown holiday fare has morphed into a starch, sugar and carb fest.  Not that there’s anything wrong with that, exactly.
The menu, now planned by rote, includes:
Turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, some sort of Jello concoction, cranberry relish, assorted yeast rolls and pumpkin pie. 
All complimented by a crisp Chardonnay.
But, the Pilgrims never ate any of those things! Over time, we changed the rituals to include the staples that now live on modern day Thanksgiving tables. 
Year after year, after year, after year.
Time to rethink and retool.   I submit that it’s time to update tradition, again.
In that spirit, I offer the Thanksgiving Tasting Menu with wine suggestions for each course.
Salad of fresh greens and pear slices with a mellow balsamic vinaigrette. Pair with Daniel Gehr’s Chenin Blanc or Rideau’s Riesling.  Pick one.
Brined, oven roasted Turkey! Because everyone likes it, and I like the leftovers. Pair with Standing Sun’s GSM, Toretti’s Rosé, Lincourt’s Chardonnay, Alexander & Wayne’s Merlot or Imagine’s Zinfandel.   Pick two.
The purist mashed potatoes (butter, milk, salt & pepper) Pairs with Casa Cassara’s Pinot Noir, Lucas & Lewellen’s Cabernet Sauvignon or a Syrah from Lucky Dogg.  Pick one.
The stuff that keeps it all together, aka dressing. Cornbread, veggies, nuts and seasoning. Simple. Pair with Toccata’s Pinot Grigio, or Cimarone’s 2012 3CV Bank.  Pick one.
Taking-it-up-a-notch option:  Batatas Gratinadas/Camotes Gratinados (Sweet Potato Au Gratin). This rich, spicy, yet savory dish will shake up the middle of the meal. The recipe was posted where all amazing dishes can be found—on FaceBook. http://bit.ly/1ttW9X0 Pair with Dreamcôte’s Riesling.  I picked for you.
Roasted Vegetable Plate: Red potatoes, carrots, asparagus, brussel sprouts and onions. Serve with Arthur Earl’s Grenache or Mouvedre.  Pick one.
Add gravy where indicated.
This tasting menu is, of course, just a starting point. And it should be tweaked and honed each year. Traditions, after all, can begin at any time.
But they should always end with dessert.
Cranberry Tart, Pumpkin Cheesecake and Pecan Pie.  Pick three. 

Post By:   Cheryl Stauffer


Chris Beebe - 11/24/2014
Love this concept!! But I must ask - how many days do guests need to finish eating and drinking this meal?

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