A Toast to All Things…
Toast to That!
It’s that time of year. Yes, that time. Not that time at the beginning of November (TG that’s over) but that time in late November, with the preparation and consumption of old school food, often kicking off Christmas, Chanukah, and New Year-esque holidays.
This time of year is especially cool if you live in NYC, by the way. One of the coolest, most eerie things I’ve ever seen was
the floats the night before the parade. Billowing in the breeze, those massive balloons erected by goodness knows who, can be seen lying in wait for their big moment the next morning. Prediction: Has anyone else seen the green giant commercials, about making a comeback? #Markmywords …The Green Giant will be a mainstay this Thanksgiving at the Macy’s Day parade.
Apropos to this coming week, Cranberry Liquors is open Wednesday night until 11:00! Joe and the employees of Cranberry Liquors are here to help with your big to-do! What to drink? What to serve my guests this Thanksgiving for liquor? What about wine? What goes with Turkey anyway? Does beer go with Turkey?
Let’s start with what to serve with your holiday meal. Turkey, according to all the search engines, wine snobs and pairing charts anyway, goes with both white and red wine. If you are a red wine drinker only, then don’t drink white! When Joe, the proprietor of Cranberry Liquors, was asked the same question, his answer was
“I’ve come to the conclusion that you can drink what you prefer with most anything. While there are some guidelines by which to follow regarding which varietal of wine pairs better, there are just that: guidelines. Drink what you like, and worry about the standards for pairing these things if you want.”
While this is solid advice, some people prefer to dazzle their guests with the perfect pairing of wine with food. So for those people (I’m one of them!) here are the varietals, both red and white, that properly accompany a turkey bird:
White: Sweet German White wines including Muscadet, Gwerztraminer, Riesling. Pretty much all sweet white wines, all German, all… sort of played out? I mean, it’s not like you didn’t Google this last year, right?
Red: Georges DuBoeuf Beaujolais Nouveau. Yes, you probably read and ignore that every year. Maybe you had a bad experience, or don’t understand why they would bottle such a weird breed of wine?
Chill it. And then serve it with your food. Honestly, like most french red wines, the beaujolais nouveau is underrated and probably because it isn’t done properly half the time. But when it is paired with food, the beaujolais makes sense, just as an earthy French Red would be! It’s like the opposite of a
Pinot Noir, which is another great wine to have at Thanksgiving, but for an entirely different reason. Pinot Noirs are great to enjoy as part of a soiree, or aperitif (eg: you can drink me without food).
Pinot Noirs, Syrahs and Zinfandels all share this magical ability to be awesome, with or without food. They are also the most recommended red wines for Thanksgiving, other than Mr. DeBoeuf’s B.N. (which we have in stock as well – $11.99)
Now, for something a little more avant garde!
Want to be a cool kid? Try a sparkling wine! Everyone is doing it this year!
Why? It’s a great darn question, but one can postulate the following reasons:
- People are sick and tired of sweet German whites and the same played out reds
- People are celebrating!
- Toasting with sparkling wine is so much fun.
- It’s low calorie?
- Toasts and sparkling wine are generally saved for special occasions anyway?
Sparkling wine will be trending this holiday season long, and likely for several of the above mentioned reasons. Toasts are indeed fun and saved for special occasions. Sparkling wine is fun in and of itself. And, now that it doesn’t have to be champagne in order for people to understand it’s a carbonated sparkly wonder filled delight, people are drinking it more. Sparkling wine is just as good when it’s not from Champagne, France (however I love French Champagne. Period. Amen.) And it truly is the lowest calorie wine (I believe something like 63 calories a glass, versus a serving of red at 140.)
So what do we recommend? Any of our sparkly wines, of course, but the Holiday Spumante by Villa Jolanda is our go-to this year. We carry Villa Jolanda Sparkling wines throughout the year, and they have some of the absolute best sparkling wines on the market. From the Pink Moscato with the hint of strawberries, to the Love You (for St. Valentine’s Day) covered in tiny little hearts and love illustrations, to their Christmas Spumante, Villa J. has one of the greatest varieties of sparkling wine, and they keep it both affordable and adorable along the way.
So what’s something weird you can drink and have a good excuse for doing so? My first answer would be port – without a doubt. Ex-post turkey, get jazzy with some Port from Portugal, and I’m not talking about the 6 dollar stuff your grandmother keeps by the creme de menthe.
You have options too! We carry several excellent ports, from Ramos Pinto’s 10 year to Taylor Fladgate 10 Yr Tawny Porto. And if you’re looking for a cool story to tell, I have just the one…
Port was invented, sort of like silly putty, completely by accident. No, the sailors who were busy importing wine were not trying to met jet tires (hence silly putty,) but they were trying to methodize their process, including not letting the wine go bad from pick up harbor to drop off harbor.
So these crafty people decided to “preserve” their wine, and did so by adding…. more booze! (the distilled grape spirits they added are considered a lot like brandy.) There reasoning was this: The spirits they added “halted fermentation.” Upon arrival with wine, the wine would be restored to original form by diluting the sugar-alcohol mixture, meaning more wine, and no vinegar badness would occur over the length of the trip. Except that never happened… The diluting, that is.
Oh, and cooler still? Take a guess as to how to open a bottle of port. Much like champagne can be opened with a sword (!?), port is traditionally opened implementing “port tongs,” which, with their iron tongs heated to red, clasp around the neck of the bottle, to snap the neck clean off. “Why would this formality continue to be used?”, one might ask. There are two answers to this question. Originally, this practice was done to prevent sediment from awaking, clouding up the awesome port. Nowadays, this fancy bottle opening method is done primarily because.. wait for it… it looks cool! Simply that, kids… there were Kayne West’s in the old days too, you know.
So, now you have a story to tell while you drink your Port digestif. And you (hopefully) have some ideas for what you would like to serve at your holiday dinner! Remember, there are no rules unless you decide so! Then again, there are guidelines for where and how many forks belong with a single place setting. So to round this whole thing out,
here are some place setting tips (including which wine glass, when and where)
Seeing is smelling for a camera system developed by scientists in Japan that images ethanol vapour escaping from a wine glass. At 13°C, the alcohol concentration in the centre of the wine glass was lower than that around the rim. Wine served at a higher temperature did not exhibit a ring-shaped vapour pattern.
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Shop at Cranberry Liquors this time of year especially! We have plenty of gift packaged liquors, wines and beers.
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Cranberry Liquors Holiday Hours:
Wednesday November 24 9:00 AM – 9:00 PM
News Years Eve: Open til 10:00 PM!
New Years Day: