You know the saying, “Too many cooks in the kitchen spoil the broth.” But what about too many sommeliers?
The W&S staff plays sommelier at our respective Thanksgiving feasts, a role often complicated by family traditions—some loved, some eagerly forgotten. Or by the food—a subject on which everyone has an opinion. Or, in some years, by the family…. There are those Thanksgivings, in fact, in which we wish we could simply nab our favorite dish and bottle of wine and take them off to someplace quiet to enjoy them in peace. Here are some of our favorite bottles and dishes—and a few recipes to boot.
Assistant Editor (NYC)
Mt. Etna Rosé and Fernet
I consider myself fairly lucky in regards to family members acquiescing to my needs during the holiday season. Either that or I am much bossier than I’d care to admit, which I’m sure is how my brother sees it. However, when it comes to tradition, my mom is a real stickler. It took me spending my first Thanksgiving away from home at an ex-boyfriend’s house, tasting “real” cranberry sauce, and consequently disparaging my mother’s continued insistence on canned cranberry sauce in deference to the past, before she allowed me to cook down fresh cranberries into chutney. It was only two subsequent holidays before the cylindrical mold of jiggly red jelly disappeared from our dining room table for good.
In spite of my relatives’ willingness to deal with my proclivities, wine preferences are slow to change. I’ll be surreptitiously sneaking sips of Frank Cornelissen’s Susucaru 6 come T-day this year, while everyone else is content with flutes of Prosecco or Waterford goblets filled with pinot noir from the Russian River Valley (in memory of a family vacation staged there). And truth be told, I’ll enjoy that jam of cranberries, simmered down with mustard, cumin and fennel seeds, minced ginger and serrano chile, as the bulk of my plate on Thursday (I’ve been petitioning to do away with the turkey for years). It’ll most likely be excellent with the Susucaru—both savory and bold—and I can be fairly confident there will be no unfinished wine the next day for my leftovers melt, even if I’m the only one to drink it down at dinner and into the final quarter of whatever obligatory football game drones on in the next room. This all before I pass around shots of Fernet to willing (and unwilling) participants in preparation for dessert.
This is a W&S web exclusive feature.
Caitlin Griffith knew her future career would entail food and drink when, at the age of six, she munched an anchovy from her father’s Caesar salad thinking it as a small strip of bacon—and was more than pleasantly surprised. While enrolled in New York University’s Food Studies program, she learned the secrets of affinage in the caves of Murray’s Cheese.
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