Wine for the Thanksgiving Martyr

Thanksgiving ever sneak up on you? It happened to me.

Here we are days before the big day, and I haven’t even made a list. Not one list. I’m pretty confident it’ll all happen. I have faith. Somehow between all the extra work and volunteer jobs that this month brings, we will still be reminded to be thankful for each other and have way too much food everybody’s favorite dishes. Right after I plan & shop & cook. How will I pull that off?

Thanksgiving Wine – Of course!

no-more-wine-mom

  • Steve loves my stuffing
  • Karissa loves my Apple Pie
  • Joey loves the City Ham
  • Jake loves Pumpkin Pie, Cranberry Sauce and Sparkling Cider

And, even though everyone that lives in my house works at the Grocery Outlet – ALL the shopping is my responsibility. That is horribly wrong and should be corrected will never change.

pie-and-wine

I’m not gonna lie, I do love planning and cooking Thanksgiving Dinner. But, don’t tell my family. I’d rather go down in history as a Thanksgiving Martyr.

Here’s our wine picks to pair with your Thanksgiving Dinner 🙂

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Privilege Sauvignon Blanc ~ Fabio Viviani Chardonnay

A to Z Pinot Noir ~ Willow Crest Merlot

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2015 Drouet Freres Privilege Sauvignon Blanc ~ France

elsewhere $19.99 ~ Our Price $5.99

Larry liked the citrusy taste after a long day of golf, it’s refreshing. Joe R. said it was light, yet sturdy. Steve called it fruity and Ethan, Arvin and Lauren all agreed. Scott thought this was a nice wine, it’s got a zip to it. Ethan added that it paired well with the spicy gouda appetizer and Nancy commented that it goes great with company.

I couldn’t find any community tasting notes for this French Sauvignon, but it did get 3.6/5 from Vivino.com

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2013 Fabio Viviani Chardonnay ~ California

elsewhere $14.99 ~ Our price $4.99

I noticed the buttery-ness of this Chardonnay right away, Scott agreed. I have heard people say ‘this has a nice mouthfeel’ but until I tried this wine, I hadn’t had that experience. Now I know what they were talking about! Arvin said it was so buttery you could put it on popcorn, yet Nancy found it to be lighter but buttery. Larry said, like oleo?

90 Points from Tastings.com: Golden yellow color. Bright, fruity, oaky aromas of toasty praline and apple tart with a satiny, vibrant, fruity medium body and a seamless, interesting, medium-long pineapple cake, crème brulee, and smoked nuts finish with fine tannins and light oak. A round and welcoming chardonnay with pleasing oakiness.

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2012 A to Z Pinot Noir ~ Oregon

elsewhere $$12.99 ~ Our price $3.99

Larry commented on the aroma of current. Terry asked, “how do you know what currents smell like?” Joe R. called this Pinot a nice replacement for cranberries at the Thanksgiving table. Ethan found it nice and light. Larry also thought he thought he noticed some tobacco notes and Steve nodded, “yeah, lil’ bit.” I thought this 1/2 bottle was very food friendly, it paired nicely with the Thanksgiving turkey and stuffing. Plus, because of it’s size, it’s cute to add to the table for guests.

86.6 Points from CellarTracker.com: Juicy berries, with lavender and violets. Medium-bodied and reasonably plush, with great complexity.

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2011 Willow Crest Estate Grown Merlot ~ Yakima Valley

elsewhere $19.99 ~ Our price $7.99

Terry spoke right up on this Merlot from Washington State, she liked it. Steve added, “nice”. Joe R. tasted current & dark berry, plum-ish (nobody questioned whether he was familiar with currents). He added that it was nice, strong and dry, the way he likes wine. This was Lauren’s favorite of the night. We paired this with desert of blackberry cobbler and vanilla ice cream, which disappeared quick.

89 Points from CellarTracker.com: A bit more substantive than the same producers of 2011 Cabernet Franc. Red fruits, mineral, juicy finish. Well made in a tough vintage.

Carpe Diem!

Did you ever notice how fast time passes? Like when you first have a baby and everybody tells you they grow up so fast – take pictures and pay attention. And you’re like, yeah sure, I have decades ahead of me taking care of this new person. The next thing you know, they’re teenagers and you look back and think WOW. That was fast. You then become one of the people warning others to watch out, they grow up so fast.

I’ve noticed that as I get older, time goes by faster and faster. The holidays come quicker each year and there’s less time to prepare for them. I’ve had to be more creative in finding time to make progress on the famous DIY project list that must be done by Thanksgiving. (It’s kind of at a boring stage, stayed tuned for the before & afters!) Instead of making dinner when I get home, I head out to the garage to paint another coat on the cabinet doors and tell Steve to find something in the freezer to heat up. I am sick of painting cabinet doors. It takes forever. When I finally come back in, with an aching back and paint-stained hands, I find Steve and Jake eating apple pie for dinner. At least they used plates. Pass me a fork.

We all get older, but we don’t have to grow up. One day this past week I thought I’d try something new and act like a grown-up. I wore one of my nicer work shirts and a watch. That shirt was uncomfortable and the watch squeezed my wrist all day. So much for that! Acting like a grown-up is no fun. It was alright for a day, I guess, but I’d rather wear a comfortable shirt and go through the day wondering what time it is.

Sometimes we have to pay attention to time so we don’t miss out on something great. Like babies growing up or a 20% OFF WINE SALE that ends this Sunday (November 10, 2013) Time to stock up on great wines for the holidays so we can relax with our families and make new memories. Carpe Diem! Seize the day!

20% off wine sign

Here’s this week’s wine picks – worthy of stocking up…

four wines

Hey Mambo Swanky White ~ Carmen Chardonnay ~ Homestead 1897 Red Wine ~ Red Door Pinot Noir

This month is CHEESE-topia! (loosely translated means: cheese-lovers paradise)

fresh mozzarella     Irish cheese sliced

Here’s some wonderful CHEESE-topia treats! Fresh Mozzarella cheese drizzled with herbs and olive oil on slices of Campari tomatoes and two Irish Specialty cheeses from Kerrygold. Aged Cheddar with Irish Whiskey and Dubliner with Irish stout.

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 Hey Mambo 2

Hey Mambo Swanky White California $3.19 (after discount)

Elsewhere price $13.99

At first sip, I thought the Hey Mambo Swanky White was tangy. It’s color is very light and it tastes fruity like a summer wine. Terry said it was slightly sweet and also noticed the fruity bouquet. She liked it, as did Larry. Steve announced that this was his favorite white wine, tasted like sauvignon blanc.

Winemaker’s Notes

A refreshing blend of eyebrow-raising charm, this Hey Mambo Swanky White is markably an uncommon treasure. This vintage is a harmonious blend of Viognier, Chenin Blanc, Muscat Canelli, and Sauvignon Blanc grapes. Fresh and alluring, this wine is an ideal candidate for holiday occasions. Serve with herb and Dijon mustard roasted turkey or baked ham glazed with tropical fruit. When the heat sets in, try this wine as a base for a puréed, chilled watermelon-mint soup or a dessert of ripe blackberries and raspberries folded with freshly whipped cream made with Mexican or Tahitian vanilla.

The hue of fine yellow crystal, this wine unfolds with aromas reminiscent of summertime by the pool or in the garden with fragrant floral blossoms, rose petals, ripe apricots and a hint of cloves over a backdrop of lemon-lime from the Muscat. The palate is very juicy, honeyed with gooseberries from the presence of Viognier and grassy tones from the Sauvignon Blanc. This wine’s heart and soul is captivatingly fruity, with crisp acidity driven by the Chenin Blanc. It concludes with a clean, dry finish of Pink Lady apples, orchard peach and limestone.

90 Points from Wine Enthusiast

“The word for this white is fun. It’s filled with apricot, pineapple, peach,green apple, honeysuckle and spice flavors, and is not complicated, but has a fine, crisp structure. The creative blend is Sauvignon Blanc, Viognier, Muscat and Chenin Blanc.”

90 Points Wine Enthusiast

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carmen-gran-reserva-chardonnay-2010

Carmen Gran Reserva Chardonnay Chili $3.99 (after discount)

Elsewhere price $14.99

This Chardonnay had a nice distinct aroma, that we collectively decided was apples. Steve tasted oak from the kegs but Larry said he could smell the kegs, but couldn’t really taste them. A very enjoyable glass of wine.

From the Winemaker:

A very fine chardonnay with a complex bouquet of fruits, wood, vanilla, and butter; pleasant in the mouth, with great body and length.

On-line review Tasting note:

The 2010 Carmen Reserva Chardonnay wins the Best Brie Wine award! It’s caramel, toffee depths are a perfect backdrop for such a rich cheese. The green apple and citrus notes give the wine a mouth-watering vibrancy. Top me up! Chardonnay  food  pairings: lobster in butter, rich pasta dishes, lemon chicken.

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Red door Pinot 2

Red Door Cellars Pinot Noir Oregon $6.39 (after discount)

elsewhere price $16.99

Warm tastes of cherries and berries. We let this Pinot breath for a good 30 minutes before tasting. Steve noted that it warms the tummy and Larry actually liked it! He doesn’t usually go for the red wines, but he may be coming over to the red side 🙂

On-line review:

13.5% alc., $21 (I have seen it on the internet for $18 which is a steal). Crafted by Laurent Montalieu for NW Wine Co. (Precept Brands) in McMinnville.      ·     Herb-dusted red fruits, sage, bay, oak and char on the pleasing nose. Very light, even ephemeral, with red cherry and strawberry flavors touched by herbs. The fruit is well-supported by supple tannins. Goes down like mother’s milk. My only nit is that the finish ends in a flash. ~The PinotFile

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homestead 1897 2

Homestead 1897 Napa Valley Red Wine $7.99 (after discount)

elsewhere price $35.00

Originally, I had planned on tasting the Homestead 1897 Cabernet Sauvignon. I bought two bottles the morning before wine tasting, but by the afternoon, Steve told me he’s just about sold out, he didn’t even put it out on the sales floor! Some of his regular wine customers came in and bought it by the case when they saw it on the pallet with all the new wines waiting to get to the shelf. So, I opted to get the Red Blend from the same winery. We did taste them both and honestly, I could not tell the difference. I’m sure a lot of you could, but not me. Terry commented on how it tasted very berry and Larry had a second glass! A second glass of red wine for Larry? Its a Front Porch Wine Tasting miracle!

Cellartracker Expert reviews:

1/2/2013 – dnsteadman Likes this wine: 86 Points – I decanted this bottle for about 4 hours and it opened up nicely. We drank it with appetizers and some cheese. It was sturdy but not overpowering and the tannins were fairly mellow after the decanting period. I have 3 more bottles in the cellar and plan to let them age a bit more but would not hesitate to open another bottle this year.

6/16/2013 – dorphil wrote:89 Points – Garnet color – Excellent. Not too overpowering. Went well with meat. Would buy again

8/4/2013 – dorphil wrote: 91 Points – Brick color – Excellent wine. Mellow but bigger than expected for the price. Would buy again