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A Canadian's Way to Celebrate American Thanksgiving

Posted: Nov 22, 2006 4:27pm ET

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?

Dr M Vinciguerra
Port Washington, NY —  November 22, 2006 7:55pm ET
Hey Steven,next time you are in NY, visit the east end of Long Island...a great wine tour with really nice wines coming out of the area...Pindar, Bedell, Palmer, Lenz, and Pugliese are showing great promise. You start at the west end and work your way east. Each winery is more than happy to bring you in and show you the wine making process.....tasting, sniffing and walking thru the vines...an amzing day for the wine lover! Happy Thanksgiving,Mike
Michael Kwok
Vancouver, BC —  November 23, 2006 11:31pm ET
Nice post! Perhaps you can go back into Canada from Portland via the Okanagan wine region. Impressive stuff going on up there too!
Mr Ian Bailey
November 24, 2006 3:34am ET
Steve, if you are doing any wine-store grazing in San Francisco next week, I¿d recommend The Wine Club and the nearby K&L Wines
Michele Lodin
Irvine, CA —  November 25, 2006 12:02am ET
Hi Steve - what fun to read your blog! As a long time fan of BNL it is nice to hear your thoughts on food & wine, and as usual your writing "voice" is brilliant. See you at your LA concert next Wednesday.
Danny Nelson
Oregon —  November 27, 2006 1:28am ET
Hopefully you went on Saturday with the good weather (and views). Only made it one day this weekend but was a great time as usual.
Taylor Mccammon
Beaverton, OR —  November 27, 2006 1:17pm ET
Hi Steven -What a great show in Portland on Saturday night! My wife, Joy, and I met you at Lemelson on Friday afternoon. We appreciated you taking time out for a picture!Looking back at your wine experience in Oregon, what are your overall impressions of the wine, especially compared to other wine areas you've visited? Anything stand out to you?
William Newell
Buffalo, NY —  November 29, 2006 2:17pm ET
We usually celebrate Canadian Thanksgiving, which coincides with our (US) Columbus Day holiday by spending part of the weekend at one of the Niagara Region's inns and dining at one of the many excellent winery-based restaurants, like Peller in Niagara on the Lake, or On The Twenty in Jordan.
Jill Miske
Pittsburgh, PA —  December 9, 2006 11:12am ET
Steve, Thanks so much for your suggestions here as to your picks for local Niagara and Prince Edward County wines. When we met after BNL's Cleveland show (all the way back in October!), you were kind enough to offer to do so!

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