Happy Thanksgiving everyone! We Canadians are so thankful that we just can’t wait until November, so we celebrate our holiday in October. But, I’m on tour in the U.S., and have found lots to be thankful for down here, not least of which is the fact that Thanksgiving weekend is when most of the Willamette Valley’s wineries open their doors to the public. And where will I be on Thanksgiving? Portland! So, I’m looking forward to checking out a lot of Oregon’s finest wines, and I’ll report back to you next week.
As for the debate about what to serve with Thanksgiving turkey, might I suggest you take the opportunity to explore your local bounty. With grapes being grown in all 48 continental states now, Thanksgiving is a great opportunity to connect with your local wine scene. Sure, some people say that Zin is the perfect grape for the holiday, being, unofficially, America’s grape, but even more American are native grapes like Catawba or Norton, which can, on occasion, make decent wines. And the hint of residual sugar left in some of these wines can make a nice complement to the sweeter side dishes many Americans like to serve. (Here’s a hint, though: sweet potatoes have the word sweet in them because they’re already sweet. Do they really need brown sugar, maple syrup or marshmallows?)
I’m lucky, because at home, the Niagara and Prince Edward County wine regions surround me, and I can proudly serve top quality wines like Cave Spring’s Riesling, Stratus’ Cab Franc, or Norman Hardie’s Pinot Noir. And this American Thanksgiving, I know my turkey will be served alongside some delicious Oregon Pinot or Syrah. And what makes giving thanks easier than enjoying the fruit of the soil right where we stand?