Nov 252010
 

It’s Thanksgiving Day and No Wine. What Do I Do Now? Reach for Duchman

I’ll have to take the blame this year. I gave you my wines for Thanksgivings Day. They were released on Culinary Thymes along with my tasting notes and food pairings. These wines were:

Haak Vineyards Reserve Blanc du Bois 2009

Fall Creek Vineyards Meritus 2006

Becker Vineyards Clementine (Late Harvest Viogner) 2009

Only one problem, though….I forgot to go by the market and pick them up and now its Thanksgivings Day. What’s a body to do? Well, i’ll open the doors to my wine cooler and puruse the shelves, that’s what.

I’ll probably claim temporary insanity for the turkey day snafu; insanity induced by coming down to the final days before submitting my book manuscript. I’ve been reading, marking, re-reading, cutting, moving, pasting and re-reading from morning to night. By the time a realized that I didn’t actually go out to buy my times…it as too late.

Let’s go down the stairs to the office that I share with Paco, my Hans Macaw, and my wine cooler. Truth be told, I’ve also been ignoring my wine cooler this year, too. I’ve not been keeping up with stocking it with Texas wines like I normally do. In Texas, it’s important when you find something that you really like or find particularly interesting to pick up not one, but several bottles. In many cases, they are reserve wines or limited releases and these wines can sell out fast, usually before I can circle back around on the dusty Texas trail to buy more.

I’m looking for a few wines that follow my simple rules for holiday wine selection that include the follow:

1. Look for wines that are fruit driven, rather than dominated by oak aging – they are the most flexible, food-friendly wines.

2. Select something that has a moderate alcohol level. This will also help the wine pair with a range of foods while also limiting your alcohol intake a bit.

3. A little residual sugar in off-dry and semi-sweet wines adds to the “pairability” of wines with turkey day favorites like sweet potatoes, savory sauces, and even a slice of pie.

4. Last, but not least, have a selection of wines (usually two or three) rather than only one since the table will have lots of food, different flavors, and people seated around the table that have different likes and dislikes.

OK, here I go….opening the door, scanning the racks and reaching in for a selection of three wines. Luckily, I followed my own advice, after posting my Thanksgivings Day wine pairings on Culinary Thymes, I stopped in at Duchman Family Winery in Driftwood, Texas. I came home with a case of assorted wines not just a handful. Some were sampled in the tasting room, but others left for late night or TGD pursuits. But, now the hard part: which ones to select for today’s meal. See my choices below:

Dry White Wine – Duchman Trebbiano 2009. Most people think of Trebbiano as a low end bulk wine and not a notable experience. I’ve already sampled this wine in a previous tasting and I can say it IS a notable experience and worthy of the holiday or any other table. The grapes we harvested at the Bingham Family Vineyards on the Texas high plains. The wine has more body than Italian Pinot Grigio and offers an interesting collage of aroma and flavor note that include lemon thyme and coriander. It’s fermented and aged 9 months in stainless, minimum skin contact and no malolactic fermentation for a fresh crisp style.

Dry Red Wine – Duchman Dolcetto 2009. I’ve not had the new 2009 vintage yet but if Duchman’s SFO double gold award winning 2008 Dolcetto is any indication, this wine should be fine with dinner. Dolcetto actually derives from the Piedmonte region in Northermn Italy and is typically served with roasted or stewed meats. The Duchman Dolcetto came from the Bingham Family VIneyards on the Texas high plains. It’s medium bodied with crisp red fruit flavors dominant. It has just a hint of oak aging that makes this wine extremely flexible and it can be served with a host of white and red meats. Dolcetto may yet become the “Pinot Noir” of Texas, just wait and see.

Sweet Desert-style Wine – Duchman Orange Muscat 2009. The Orange Muscat grapes were harvested at Jet Wilmeth’s Diamante Doble Vineyards on the Texas high plains and cold fermented and aged in temperature controlled stainless steel tanks for 9 months yielding the sweet essence of baked stone fruits and orange marmalade overloaded with floral nuances. While this wine is typically consumed with dessert – pie or cobbler, it also has possibilities as an aperitif or accompanying high end specialties such as foie gras or lobster terrine (probably not TG day fare).

Well,Bon Appetit! I hope that you’ll be enjoying the delights of your Thanksgiving and holiday celebrations with family and friends and a selection of  Texas wines, as I will.

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