Well the dust is settled from another Thanksgiving meal, and it was a true pleasure to watch my Bride as a whirling dervish overseeing all aspects of the meal. I had acquired a bug two days ago and with medications I was able to enjoy the day, although in an abbreviated fashion. Not only did we celebrate Thanksgiving, but the joint birthdays of the November honorees, we also celebrated our in-laws from Louisville anniversary. We had a packed house, even if those that were watching the Lions were not happy with the outcome.
We started off with an assortment of cheeses for everyone to munch on, until the main courses were finished and everybody could get there fill. My Bride made a turkey and a leg of lamb as the main entrees for dinner. There were also a couple of salads, vegetable dishes, mashed potatoes and sweet potatoes, and two kinds of stuffing. Our one son that lives locally had wanted us to brine the turkey, but my Bride and I vetoed that wish, because why take a chance when my Bride makes the best turkey I have ever had, and consistently over the years. So we brined a chicken to appease our son. Consequently we ended up with three gravies (lamb, chicken and turkey) which I enjoyed over the potatoes, stuffing and the Armenian Pilaf. After all the food was cleared we enjoyed desserts. There were an assortment of pies, and Birthday Brownies.
We started off with Sterling Central Coast Chardonnay 2011 as a white wine is a great way to start off any meal. I was going to try a different wine for the dinner, instead of our usual Beaujolais Nouveau or Pinot Noir wines which I enjoy with turkey. Instead my Brother-in-law from Louisville had brought a couple of wines to celebrate his anniversary, so we began with a Caymus Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon 2000 from Napa Valley. I joked with him, “what no Special Select” and he lamented that he has none left in his cellar, but any Caymus is a worthy wine, and if that was the pinnacle, it would have more than sufficed.
My Brother-in-law really wanted to celebrate his twenty-sixth anniversary and we decanted a wonderful bottle of St. Emilion First Grand Cru, namely a bottle of Chateau Cheval Blanc 1986. We took the wine over to a quiet section of the house to uncork the wine and to decant it. The first surprise was that the cork came out intact, and then when we decanted the wine, there was surprisingly little sediment so we lost very little of this fine wine. We allowed it to breathe for about an hour before dinner, far from the maddening crowds. The tannins had mellowed on this wine, but there was still an abundance of fruit in the nose and in the tasting.
Afterward there was still a bit of thirst, and I went down to my cellar to get another bottle of wine from the eighties in keeping with his anniversary. I brought up a Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley. It was a William Hill Reserve 1989. The cork broke halfway which necessitated decanting this wine as well. We were surprised at how much tannin was still in this wine, as well as the fruit. We had anticipated less tannin, but it just goes to show you that some vintners when they claim “reserve” mean it, and it is not just a marketing ploy.