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.
Senior Correspondent (Santiago, Chile)
I don’t know if you have ever heard of this game, Tiddlywinks. It is played with a chip on a spongy surface, like a carpet. The idea is to make the chips jump into a bowl by pressing one against another.
I played that game once, while living in the States. And it was on Thanksgiving, which made me think that Tiddlywinks was a kind of tradition, like turkey or cranberry sauce. It is worth noting that I’m Chilean, and in my country we have no idea of what Thanksgiving implies.
Anyway, it was a cold night, snowing outside, ideal for filling up with lots of food and viscous, powerful wines like Australian shiraz, which is what we drank —with some generosity—during dinner. And then, of course, came the Tiddlywinks. The whole family, kneeling on the carpet, pressing those plastic chips, one on the other.
And I was happy there, on that carpet. My glass of voluptuous syrah aside; the chips on the fuzzy floor. Happy trying to understand the game, trying to win, convinced that I was taking part of one of the oldest American traditions, no matter how eccentric (and somewhat ridiculous) it seemed to me.
I do not remember exactly the rules for Tiddlywinks. What I do remember was that I got to the finals, and although I lost, I was especially proud of the talent I had had no idea that I have.
This year I will be basking in Santiago’s 90˚ heat, with some franc from the Loire waiting in the fridge—but sadly, no Tiddlywinks.
This is a W&S web exclusive feature.
is the author of Descorchados, an annual guide to the wines of South America, and covers Chile for W&S.
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