On the Trail

Thanksgiving Practice

Gary Westby
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On Sunday, we did our first Thanksgiving at home. It is my favorite holiday of the year, and I was excited to do it an extra time—for the sake of wine pairing research of course! Cinnamon removed the back and legs from our turkey, making stock for gravy with the back and mole with the legs. I made Amontillado gravy with the pan drippings, stock and turkey schmaltz and she prepared celery root purée enriched mash potatoes and wild rice stuffing to complete the feast. We wanted to try a new Champagne producer’s rosé and a new Burgundy producers Bourgogne to see how they would go with the feast, and I am happy to report a great success. I can’t recommend these two strongly enough for this Thursday!

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The Le Brun de Neuville "Authentique" Brut Rosé Champagne $39.99 is composed of 67% Chardonnay and 23% Pinot Noir, of which 17% is red wine. It all comes from the super chalky soils of Béthon in the Sezzane, and has been aged for three years on a cork instead of a crown cap, so the cork that you pull is the second that has been in the bottle. While darker than most rosé Champagne, and full of more red wine power, the incredible quality of the Chardonnay makes it extraordinarily refreshing and easy to drink. It is a rare thing to have a wine that can both stand up to gravy and be delicate enough to have on its own. This is that wine.

I was lucky enough to visit with the Parents a few years ago, and often drink their Burgundy when I am in Europe. I was thrilled when we managed to get the wines direct for K&L, and the 2015’s are as spectacular as this vintage has the reputation for. The 2015 Domaine Parent Bourgogne Rouge $29.99 really came alive with the food after about an hour in the decanter. While great red fruit brightness and mineral lift is a given from this careful organic grower, the 2015 offers more than that. It has that excitement and subtle complexity that you can only get from Burgundy. It went tremendously well with the turkey, and was drained faster than we expected!

Happy Thanksgiving! 

-Gary Westby