I’m always buoyed the last couple of days after Thanksgiving, basking in the after glow of time spent with my extended family. It’s a motley crew of first and second cousins, cousins in law, my sister, my twin niece and nephew, and my two beloved Aunts and my Uncle. We had a lot to be thankful for--most of us were able to gather in Louisiana,home to core family members.
We were also thankful for the successful launch of my cousin’s restaurant—Pimanayoli’s Sidewalk Café and Catering. Greater Baton Rouge area residents are now getting a taste of the yummy foods that have long graced our Thanksgiving table.
Our menu is expansive –along with the cranberry sauce, sweet potatoes and other traditional foodstuffs we have at least one meat dish by our own smoked meat specialist, my cousin in law Pepper (the piman in Pimanyoli’s is the Creole word for pepper). Pepper’s contribution this year was cherry rosemary ribs. No leftover turkey sandwich for me. I am not ashamed to say I hid the few leftover ribs in the back of the fridge:)
Since I began my wine journey, wine has become a bigger part of our Thanksgiving meal. Sometimes I’ve made the selections—always a red, a white and a bubbly, but for the last couple of years, I have taken advantage of the Thanksgiving 6 Pack put together by the wine wizards at New York’s Harlem Vintage wine store. They cull white and red wines from their boutique wine store inventory for wines that pair well with the wide variety of the sweet and savory tastes of Thanksgiving. (See list below)
But I take proprietary interest in selecting a special wine for my Aunts who have long eschewed what they call my ‘fancy’ wine. Fancy because it costs more than their favorite wine which retails for $1.69 (yes you read right). At $1.69 their wine makes the popular Two Buck Chuck look expensive. Their wine is a white sweet frizzante (fizzy, but not a true bubbly). At first I tried to get them to sample dry wines, but now I know better. They like sweet so I give them sweet—really sweet, as in dessert wine. It’s been my goal to show them that what they call fancy wine is, in fact, just easy sipping. I’ve been pleased that they’ve been pleased with my selections. This year I selected a Late Harvest Vidal Blanc produced by Henry of Pelham Family Estate, a Canadian winery. The Canadians are famous for their ice wines, dessert wines made from frozen grapes. Late harvest grapes are not as sweet, picked late in the harvest when the grapes have the most natural sugar. This Vidal Blanc is a honey gold color. You can’t help but want to smell it—the fruit aromas are enticing. My Aunts loved it.
There’s nothing better than having time to enjoy your family.
Harlem Vintage’s Thanksgiving Six Pack:
Gruet Blanc de Noirs–sparkling
Montinore Almost Dry Riesling–white wine
Trou de Bonde, Grenache Blanc—another white
Benoni, Cabernet Sauvignon—full bodied red
Lost Angel, Muscat Cannelli—not so sweet dessert wine