Ep 352: The Thanksgiving 2020 Episode - American Wine Edition
2020 was like no other, so we're recommending different things for this year's annual Thanksgiving Show. This has been a tough year for everyone, but small family owned wineries have been hit hard by fires, lack of tourism and, in some cases, harsh harvest conditions.
2020 was like no other, so we're recommending different things for this year's annual Thanksgiving Show. This has been a tough year for everyone, but small family owned wineries have been hit hard by fires, lack of tourism and, in some cases, harsh harvest conditions. Thanksgiving is the quintessential American holiday, so this year in particular, we recommend that you show our support for America's great wineries and their wines that pair perfectly with any type of Thanksgiving food you decide to eat.
We start with some important announcements:
- the Wine Resources section of the WFNP site is now live. Check it out!
- This year, I am launching the holiday book offer again! Details here:
Here are the ratings of the show:
- No matter where you are or who you are with, our # 1 tip for Thanksgiving this year (in that kind of zero, restrictive year without our loved ones in many cases): Drink something truly fantastic - take out the wine you you've been saving and having it now. Celebrate that you are here, that you are doing well, that you will be going through this difficult time.
We then spend the show traveling the country from west to east, recommending wines from all regions of superior quality:
- Santa Barbara: Pinot is perfect for the meal and really goes with everything. Lumen, Holus Bolus, Ampelos, Dragonette, and Marimar there are a few that i like
- Paso Robles: We're a record broken on this one - Rhone-style red and white blends from Tablas Creek, Italian grape varieties of Giornata, and for the more hearty red meat vegetables: Hearst Ranch and Halter ranch for large red mixtures.
- Sonoma: the List of wineries Underground Wine Events will suffice, but we specifically mention the excellent Pinot Noir rosé from Bruliam, tasty sparkling Keller Estate and Longboard, and, as I mentioned in my article with the splendid table on NPR - Cabernet Franc from the ACORN winery.
- Napa: Taking the brunt of the wildfires this year, we recommend that you support the producers who have been affected if you can. Here is a list, but we mention Smith-Madrone (their Riesling is perfect for TG), Cave Cain, Chateau Boswell, and Fairwinds Estate - all whose properties were completely destroyed in the fires.
- Sierra Foothills: And is is always my choice and the semillon is perfect with Thanksgiving herbs. Zin is potent but nuanced and would be great if you grill
- Also affected by the fires this year and by family growers (but be sure to check out the large, imposing vineyard list in the Wine Resources portion of the site to avoid buying from a conglomerate), Oregon makes excellent Pinot. Dark, unoaked Gamay Chardonnay - everything is perfect with every part of a traditional and savory Thanksgiving meal. Some favorites: Bergstrom, Torii Mor, Cristom, Lingua franca
- With more body, potency, and alcohol, Washington wines are fantastic for grilled meats, beef stews, meatloaf, and any hearty dish that you may decide to consume instead of traditional TG food. Walla Walla, Yakima, and the larger AVAs in the Columbia Valley are excellent. I mention Pepper Bridge, Amavi, Sleight of hand, Saviah, Big tower, and Delille
- We mention Michigan for its Riesling, New Mexico for its great sparkling brand, Gruet, and Colorado for some of its emerging vineyards as well
- Finger Lakes, New York
- Riesling, Riesling and more Riesling is my recommendation. Dry, semi-dry, sweet, dessert - all work with herbs, spices, butter and fat. Riesling is an MVP - it can also handle curry, Chinese food, Indian spices, and all heated foods. And Finger Lakes, with its traditional peach, white flower, mineral bouquet, tremendous acidity and low alcohol content make it a staple. Late Harvest Vineyards from Anthony Road Wine Company is the dessert wine of the century - an indigenous / hybrid grape made in a sweet style, also noted in the Splendid Table segment.
- Long Island, New York State
- From my homeland, MC Ice and I will wax poetic on the sparkling wine of Lieb and Sparkling tip, then mention the excellent medium bodied Cabernet Franc and Merlot from these beautiful island vineyards. With these types of profiles and more moderate alcohol (be sure to double check this before you buy), you'll have reds that can work their way in and out of hard-to-pair dishes - green beans. with creamed spinach and fried. turkey. And the glitter may be an even better match for all of it - but you are the judge.
- It has been a terrible year for the Virginia vineyards. A terrible frost set in early in the growing season, killing the vines before they had a chance to form. Small harvests were good but there will not be much wine to sell from 2020, an unfortunate event during the Covid era. We mention Afton Mountain's fabulous Albariño (I mentioned their bubbly, Bollicine, in the Splendid Table segment) and Pollak's unoaked Chardonnay, which are our seafood picks, as well as versatile whites and reds from Linden and Glen Manor. We highly recommend VA's dessert wine - it's a perfect end to the meal!
We are very grateful for you and we hope you will open something fantastic to celebrate the fact that you are successful this year no matter how difficult it has been!
Elizabeth and MC Ice
Thanks to our sponsors this week:
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We would recommend either Wineworks Premium or Wineworks Superior as your first 30 Bottle Kit Wine. Both of these ranges are designed to produce a good quality wine that is ready to drink within 2-4 weeks but will benefit if left up to 6-8 weeks. Furthermore, they also have a great selection of wines to choose from.
If you’ve never made wine before or you simply don’t have any of the equipment or ingredients any longer then you could purchase one of our bundles. These bundles allie all the required equipment along with your prefered wine coffret so that you can have everything delivered to your door and just get started. The Wineworks Superior Starter Bundles are a great choice if you want to keep the equipment budget down but still choose the quality of wine you’d like to go for. Whereas, the Wineworks Luxury Starter Bundles offer a better quality equipment pack and still let you choose from a great choice of wine kits.
The two most important critères of making wine are Cleanliness and Temperature. Firstly remember everything that comes into contact with the wine should be cleaned and sterilised ( see below ). Secondly maintain a constant temperature between 21-26°C ( 69-79°F ). It is much better to be on the cool side and constant than hot one minute and cold the next. Airing cupboards are definitely no, no’s. ( See below )
Clean and sterilise all equipment. Here’s a selection of Sterilisers you can use and if you not quite sure which steriliser to go for then you can take a look at our Beginners Wine Making Part 1 - Cleaning, Sterlising
Wineworks Superior wines : These usually take 10-15 days to ferment, and a further week to clear. Again the wine can be drunk immediately but we recommend ageing it 4 weeks but you can leave it up to 12 months. The time you will leave it will depend very much on your stocks. So get plenty built up. The reds benefit more than the whites with ageing. Certain packs ( see the list below ) are suited more to the experienced wine maker and take around 4 weeks to ferment and then left for a further 2 weeks. These products does really benefit from ageing. All the kits we list in this section require little ageing.
As it’s new to you it will probably take in all 2 hours for your first batch. However, once you are used to it 1 hour is about the maximum amount of time needed. We would also point out bar the bottling side; it takes just as long to make 6 bottles as it does to make 30 bottles, so we strongly recommend you make the larger quantity. After all 6 bottles doesn’t go very far as we said before !
From our experience it is much better to maintain a constant temperature than a fluctuating one. We suggest 21-26°C ( 69-79°F ), although if it is cooler than this, it is not a problem, it just takes slightly longer to ferment. If you can’t maintain this then we supply three different forms of heating equipment : Brew Belt / Heat BeltThis is a simple insulated electric cable that wraps round your container and provides a gentle heat. It is very flexible and extremely easy to use. Heat Tray ( 4 demi/5 Gallon Fermenter ) This is like a flat tray that provides a gentle continuous heat that goes under the fermenter. Immersion HeaterThis drops into the conteneur, through the bung and can be thermostatically controlled to maintain the exact temperature. Similar to a fish tank heater. All these can be added to our starter kit packages. See our video showing the genres of heating equipment available for your fermentation.
It is important to clean
If you’ve made it this far, hopefully understanding a bit of what we’ve said, then you’ll want to know how much it will cost to get started ! As you may have noticed, we’ve put together a couple of equipment kits which include everything you need, and take the confusion out of buying. You can make your first 30 bottles of Wine for approximately £65. 00. That’s all in ( Equipment