Thanksgiving at my house has become a two-day bacchanal, though probably not quite like this one enjoyed by my friends at First Vine Wines. On Wednesday, my mother-in-law, Sheila Chang, cooked up a Chinese feast for 11, during which we enjoyed my typically eclectic wine pairing strategy – grab whatever I can reach from the racks and stacks in the basement. (Sheila, if I may be allowed to gloat, recently gained her own bit of fame when award-winning cookbook author Grace Young wrote about her on the Washington Post‘s All We Can Eat blog. And her now famous version of sweet and sour chicken, which will be included in the upcoming Washington Post cookbook, got this feast off to a rollicking start. )
Then on Thursday, we decided to give Sheila the day off and we cooked a traditional turkey and the trimmings. Again, lots of wines. And yes, there were some locals among them, including Foggy Ridge First Fruit Cider, Jefferson Vineyards 2007 Viognier, Linden Vineyards 2005 Petit Verdot, and RdV Vineyards 2008 Friends and Family. (A Black Ankle Vineyards 2010 Gruner Veltliner was unfortunately corked.)
My favorite food-drink pairing, though, came at the end of Thursday’s feast, when my niece, Julie Kessler, a certified and professional beer nerd (maybe it runs in the family), opened a bottle of Hardywood Gingerbread Stout, from Richmond. There was a lot of talk around the table that it seemed more like a brown ale than a stout (I told you beer nerdiness runs in this family), but we all agreed that that the spices flavoring this delicious seasonal brew were perfect with the pumpkin pie. (Credit for the pie goes to Julie’s sister, Lisa, and my daughter, Emma.)
I hope your Thanksgiving was wonderful, and not so bacchanalian to distract you from what you are thankful for. Among other things, I am thankful for all of you who read this blog. And if pumpkin pie may still be in your holiday dinner plans, look for the Hardywood Gingerbread Stout. If you can’t find it, spring for a good aged tawny Port.