Monday, December 2, 2013

Wine and Thanksgiving Leftovers

Thanksgiving dinner leaves most of us with a lot of leftovers. Turkey, cranberry sauce, green bean casserole--but seldom any wine. The wine you carefully selected to accompany your holiday meal is long gone before you have grown weary of your food. So in the days following, it's a struggle to find ways to repurpose those leftovers. Just because you're re-purposing doesn't mean you shouldn't find a good bottle of wine to go along with them.

For us, we decided to re-purpose some of our leftovers in a soup: turkey, pumpkin, and turnips, with a bit of cheddar cheese and sage. It was served up in a freshly baked bread bowl flavored with coffee, molasses, star anise, and orange rind. Big, crazy flavors, thankfully far removed from yet another day of leftover Thanksgiving flavors. Definitely not suited to a delicate, fruity red wine. Instead, we looked for something with some big fruit flavors, hopefully with some spices of its own.

Of course, right now our wine rack is full of Italian wines, in an attempt to learn a bit about some unfamiliar wines, so it was a tough choice. We picked a bottle of Lagrein from the Alto Adage region because we've had a few glasses of Lagrein before and thought it might give us what we wanted. In this case, it didn't work out as well as we had hoped. The wine had the flavors we were looking for, but since we didn't know enough about the wine, we didn't give it time to breathe, and it was a bit too "tight" on its flavors. There were hints there of what we wanted, but the wine wasn't "big" enough to let us really get all of the flavors when compared to the exuberant flavors of the dinner.

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