If it is the time of the year, that all the Christmas cards and newsletters have gone to the Post Office to be mailed, the gifts for the out-of-towners have been posted and all the local gifts have been wrapped and bundled by family, it must be Thanksgiving Day. It has been crazy here, beyond the normal craziness, as we have been updating the living room and the dining room, which is a story all by itself. Let us say, that the Bone China, Silverware and Crystal had to be packed up along with everything else in those two rooms, first for the cleaning, then the painting and then getting the house ready for twenty-four guests for dinner. We had a quiet Thanksgiving, not everyone came this year, but it was because of a new puppy. By the time the crowd started filtering in, we said two, a few came then and some made it by six. I cracked opened a bottle of Korbin Kameron Semillon Moon Mountain District 2018 from Moonridge Vineyards and Moon Mountain District is in a curious position as part of it is Napa Valley and part is Sonoma, and Korbin Kameron Semillon Moon Mountain District 2018 is an Estate Grown wine. Semillon is probably one of the least known, major varietals in the wine industry. It makes some of the greatest sweet wines and it also makes some of the greatest dry wines. Its home is Bordeaux, though it is done extremely well in parts of Australia and among a few wineries in California. A wine that starts in Stainless Steel and finishes in oak. I actually had a chance to try this wine ahead of time before the actual tasting and I reserved some of the wine for my cellar, and I knew that my Bride would love it. She did. This organically made wine used native yeasts and had a nose that I would call plush floral and citrus, and it brought notes of citrus and ripe pear with a nice lingering long count finish. There were only twenty-five cases made and we got a case. The perfect start for the day, but it did overpower the other white wines on Thanksgiving Day.
We had an impromptu set up and used the breakfast room, the dining room and the living room to make sure that everyone had a table to sit at. We had a mix of flatware, plastic utensils, fancy disposable plates and serviettes (that is Canadian for paper napkins). We started off with appetizers, nothing fancy but an assortment of cheese, crackers, fruits and vegetables. We were utilizing every oven in the house to get everything done, and warm. The turkey was carved during this time, I really couldn’t greet people properly as I was carving away. Our turkey doesn’t look like a Norman Rockwell painting, but we did a twenty-three-pounder stuffed and put in a roasting bag and cooked in a roaster, upside down. The bird actually was falling apart and I had to take it out of the bag in pieces to carve. It was delicious, the best part of being the carver, is that you have to make sure and taste all the different parts to make sure that it cooked properly (who needs to eat after carving?). The next wine of note that I want to mention is Roberts + Rogers Reserve Chardonnay Napa Valley 2018. I should have probably opened this wine to start as this wine was aged for almost twelve months. Sixty percent of the juice was aged in French Oak and forty percent was aged in Stainless Steel and then the two juices were blended and then finally bottled. It was a stellar example of a California Chardonnay, that would probably fool people in a blind taste test. It was crisp and buttery and very smooth, with some floral notes and a nice finish that evoked a desire for another taste.
Then we finally got to the dinner, which out of necessity is always set up as a buffet on the island counter in the kitchen. Of course, she had to make her Caesar Salad and the turkey and the gravy were outstanding. To be truthful, I never enjoyed turkey, until I had my Bride’s cooking, because I grew up thinking that turkey was a cousin of cardboard. For the sake of honesty and transparency, there was something called a Tofurkey. She also made two tenderloins, one in a traditional olive oil, garlic and rosemary and the other was braised in Mexican Molé Sauce for the more adventurous. There were also all of the obligatory sides, ahem, except for the Armenian Pilaf and it was duly noted. After the buffet counter was cleared it was filled up again with pumpkin pies, sweet potato pies, pecan pies, apple pies, cherry pies and of course a Birthday cake for all of the birthday honorees in November. While some continued with white wines, I had to open up an interesting red wine for the day. I went with a bottle of Celani Family Vineyards Tenacious Estate Napa Valley Red Wine Unfiltered 2012. I had tasted and wrote and bought some of this wine about five years ago. When I first had the wine, I was told that it was created in the image of Le Pin and Chateau Petrus, and quite a lofty goal. The wine is a blend of seventy percent Merlot and thirty percent Cabernet Franc. The wine is aged in new French Oak for twenty-two months and has become their affordable signature wine. This had a big nose of black fruit and strawberries, with a taste that was dominated originally by the black cherry, and finishing with some rich terroir and some great acidity for cellaring. I may have opened it early, but it was a great way to see how it was cellaring, before I even think of a newer vintage that is resting.