Thanksgiving 2015

Thanksgiving Norman Rockwell

The wine cellar is choc-full of “special occasion” wines. Some bottles have this emotional designation because of the cost, while others carry rich sentiment because of the place or experience when the wines were purchased. It’s funny how life circumstances can redefine just about everything, including what constitutes a “special occasion.” As previously penned, TUESDAY is a special occasion!  Each day, each moment ought to be experienced as special, sacred, pure gift, because each moment IS a gift!

Nevertheless, there are occasions that are widely accepted as “special” because of who gathers around the table, the feast that is spread, and the communal experience of gratitude.  Thanksgiving is, of course, one of these celebrations. If we cellarmasters don’t share our finest wines on these occasions, then we ought to have a serious conversation with Dicken’s Ebenezer Scrooge.

Friends and family gathered once again in our home to prepare and share a fantastic feast.  Each person is to bring or prepare the dishes that, without that item being part of the feast, it would simply not be “Thanksgiving.” Our buffet included the obligatory turkey (prepared on the Big Green Egg – my own “must have”), stuffing reminiscent of one guest’s grandmother’s recipe, sweet potato “pudding” (a nod to another’s semi-Southern roots), and a cranberry salad that hinted at yet another’s grandmother’s “pond scum” (yes, it’s a thing — known as “green stuff” in my own childhood). Cheese plates, dips, mashed potatoes, gravy, salads, vegetables, rolls, pies, and even the seventh-grade home ec class recipe for “Poco Pepper Snacks” — it was one menagerie of a feast! And what a feast it was — a feast of food, a feast of deep love, and a feast of gratitude.  Oh, and a feast of wine, of course!

The wines of Thanksgiving 2015:

Dragonette 2013 Rose


2013 Dragonette Cellars Rose
Light and festive wine to celebrate cooking and preparation of Thanksgiving Dinner 2015. Fresh fruit (strawberries, raspberries) with citrus and wildflower notes in the nose and mouth. So easily drinkable and reminiscent of summer days even in chilly autumn!

Saarloos Loos Bubbles 2009

2009 Saarloos & Sons Loos Bubbles
A delightful bit of bubbly to toast friends and family gathered for our Thanksgiving feast. Words of gratitude to guests as this bright rose was poured into each stem, then a collective “Cheers!” as we realized the depths of our “thanksgiving.” The wine embodied this sense of gratitude — grown, crafted, bottled, and released as a gift from one family to others. In the words of the winemaker, “Loos is a celebratory wine befitting life’s greatest milestones and we believe that it should only be opened for such moments.” The “label” consists of the words “Loos Bubbles” and the winemaker’s signature scrawled on the bottles with a gold metallic marker. Personal. Unpretentious. Gift.

So it is with the wine itself. Not one of the world’s greatest sparkling wines, but truly a celebration in a bottle. Bright, fruity, balanced, and pleasant in every way. Gratitude in a bottle!

Evan's Ranch 2004 Chardonnay Las Brisas

2005 Evan’s Ranch Chardonnay Las Brisas Vineyard
Notes coming soon

Sea Smoke 2010 Pinot Noir Ten

2010 Sea Smoke Pinot Noir Ten
Notes coming soon

Domaine du Pegau 2004 Chateneuf du Pape


2004 Domaine du Pégaü Châteauneuf-du-Pape Cuvée Réservée
Notes coming soon

2006 Saarloos & Sons Ring Effie Unk Santa Ynez Valley

Saarloos Ring Effie Unk

2006 Saarloos & Sons Ring Effie Unk Santa Ynez Valley

Bordeaux-Style Blend (85% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Cabernet Franc)
USA, California, Central Coast, Santa Ynez Valley

Wine Rating: 94

Uncorked: 2009.08.22 Jeff’s Birthday Dinner – served with farmer’s market finds on the grill
Concentrated and intricate, expressive and lush, elegant and delicious. There is something really special going on in this bottle of wine, and at this young age it is just beginning to demonstrate its moxy. The color is beautifully dense and saturated. Earthiness in the nose with dark berries and currants, coffee, graphite, and hints of wildflowers. Delicately extracted yet concentrated fruit flavors show remarkable restraint. Blackberry, ripe plum, and slightly sweet blueberry are balanced with good structure and body. Flavors of the vineyard itself come through with earthiness, dried herbs, and shale. Solid tannins lead to a lingering finish. Focused, sensuous, and very memorable.

$48.00 Purchased from the winery

Story about the unique name of the wine:
What is RING EFFIE UNK? Ring, Effie, and Unk are the names of family members that lived together. Ring and Effie were married and his brother, whom everyone called Unk, came to live with them. Leave a blend of personalities together for a extended period of time and no longer are they individuals but a entirely new family. They went so far as to have the names on the sign on their home include them all.

Saarloos & Sons Website