Thursday night has finally arrives and with it the serious consumption of traditional Thanksgiving fare. Last night we whet our whistles, CLICK TO SEE, and you’ve seen the echos of the past, but here is the real thing. Blow by blow.
When I arrived my father had already cracked this. The order was wrong but the wine was right. “A profound effort, the 2000 Figeac‘s opaque purple color is accompanied by a terrific bouquet of camphor, graphite, black currants, licorice, and smoked herbs. With well-balanced, powerful tannin, concentration, and pinpoint precision, finesse, and purity, this expressive effort will drink well between 2004-2018.”
A few appetizers. Bear in mind that EVERYTHING is made from scratch. Homemade guacamole (like mine, but not spicy — I make a special shotgun guac with Jalapenos, cyranos, and haberneros).Tapanade with olives, vegetables, garlic and olives. Olives, bread etc.
Flowers from Robertson’s, overpriced but lovely.
The next two wines. A 2002 Bonnes Mares (yum) and a nice CNDP. “Three separate tastings of this wine left me with the impression that there is a lot more to them than meets the palate. One of the finest estates of the appellation, Clos des Papes tends to produce wines that require 4-5 years of bottle age before they reveal themselves. That may be the case with the 1998, but I am still calling it relatively conservatively, especially when compared with other efforts. The color is very evolved, and not darkly saturated. The bouquet is top-notch, offering attractive cedar, dried herb, black cherry and raspberry scents that are intense yet delicate. Similar flavors emerge on the palate. Medium to full-bodied, with a restrained, elegant style, particularly for this vintage, Clos des Papes’ 1998 tastes as if it emerged from a different year because it was not exhibiting the power, unctuosity, and jamminess possessed by many 1998s. However, there is a lot to the wine, all of which may be revealed with further age.”
My father carries in one of the two turkeys. Multi hour BBQ.
Pounding through the wine. Parker gives this 92, one of my favorite Rhone wineries, “That may explain the open-knit, complex notes of tree bark, black cherries, licorice, seaweed, pepper, and floral notes in the 1998 Beaucastel. The wine is medium to full-bodied, has nice, sweet tannins, and is surprisingly open and approachable. This wine has reached the beginning of its plateau of maturity, where it should last for at least a decade or more. Atypically forward for a wine from Beaucastel, my recollection is that the actual percentage of Grenache, which never exceeds the Mourvedre in their final blend, was much higher in 1998 than in other years.”
One of the two cranberry sauces. This is the “relish.”
Mom carves as well as cooks.
Turkey number two. You never know.
Brussel spouts, made fresh and not bitter in the least. My cousin-in-law made this one.
The turkey plate.
Corn soufflé. One of the few things not made by my mother and aunt.
Chugging through more wine. The 1994 Lagrande: “In comparison to the more open-knit, flattering style of the 1993, the 1994 is a backward, less precocious, more tannic wine that needs another 5-7 years of cellaring. It is a wine that recalls the style of the more tannic vintages of the sixties and seventies. The healthy dark ruby/purple color is followed by copious quantities of smoky, toasty, new oak. There is an impression of ripe fruit, but, for now, the wine’s personality remains dominated by excruciatingly strong tannin. Give this wine 5-6 years of cellaring, as patience is definitely a requirement for purchasing the 1994 Lagrange. It should last for 15-20 years.”
Also a Shiraz from my dad’s cellars. We had some cork issues but it came out okay.
Salad, because you need something to wash it down.
The second cranberry, the jelly (homemade of course).
The full spread.
And the official 2010 plate!
Mom presents the pecan pie.
Snickerdoodles made fresh by cousin Abbe, Grandmom D’s brownies and blondies made by cousin Matt.
The chocolatt cake and whipped cream.
The world’s best pecan pie!
This lovely PX returns from last night for yet another round. Motor oil soaked in sugar!
My dessert plate.
Full. Full. Full!
And last but not least: the Chefs! My mother on the right, my aunt on the left.
Thursday night Thanksgiving Feast
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Oooh, I’ve had that ’94 Lagrange too.. I remember it being pretty good, it was part of our wine selection at the Q-Games’ yearly cherry blossom viewing party a couple of years back.
Those turkeys look mouthwateringly good… and they are so large! We can only get tiny ones here in Japan.
The turkeys were even juicy too, a bit of a trick for large ones. A long slower cooking in the BBQ will do it.