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Thankgiving Wine Pairing…Backwards

Wine is traditionally served in a particular order. For Thanksgiving this year, however, I wanted to mix things up a bit and challenge myself to come up with a menu that would pair with wines served opposite of when they would usually be served. 


Blanched Asparagus wrapped in Prosciutto with crushed walnuts

Wine: Cru Classe Sauternes. I particularly like Chateau Coutet in Barsac for this. 

Aged Gouda with Honey and Maricopa Almonds

Wine: Sercial Maderia. I’m a huge fan of the Rare Wine Company’s offerings. 

1st Course

Spinach Salad with Dried Cranberries, Walnuts, and Applewood Smoked Bacon with Red wine Vinegarette

Wine: Fransiscan Magnificant. Oh yeah. Strong flavors requires a strong wine. In the absence of this wine a really good Merlot will do. 

2nd Course

Sous Vide Salmon over Julienne Green Beans and fresh Microgreens. 

Wine: Dry Rose. I would lean towards the Finger Lakes myself with this one but understanding that those aren’t available everywhere I would secondly look for the south of France or Loire Valley Roses. 

Main Course

Herb Roasted Turkey with Cramberry and Apple stuffing. Sweet potato gratin with baking spices. Roasted Brussel Sprouts with crispy Panchetta. 

Wine: Killian’s Russian River Chardonnay. This personal offering from my former boss is perfect for this type of meal. Rich and delicious with great acid. 


Pumpkin Pie with homemade Whipped Cream. Creamy Brie with berries. 

Wine: Champagne or Riesling? Or Both! Both definitely. 

Happy Thanksgiving and enjoy this time with your loved ones! 

Harvest 2015: Week 4 – It’s Here!!!


Harvest is officially upon us here in Canandaigua. This morning we started harvesting fruit for Constellation’s Sparkling wine program for J. Roget. 

Last week was relatively cool with lows at night in the 50s and highs in the mid 70s. This week it is supposed to be much warmer with highs up near 90! That would get things moving quite a bit on the vinifera varieties and I’m a little concerned that Riesling may be coming in earlier than expected if it keeps up. After the huge amount of rain from earlier in the season the later part of the year has been relatively dry and warm. It is often said in cooler climates that the weather in September can make or break the quality of a harvest. We shall see what the next four weeks have in store for us!  

I hope to get out in the vineyards a bit later this week to see how the vintage is progressing. Hopefully we are seeing signs of Verasion in Cabernet Franc soon and the Riesling should be about a month away from harvest at this point.