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FOOD, WINE & FRIENDS  Page 290

Alexia and Henry hosted use for a lovely Thanksgiving dinner at their Woodside residence.

The table was set and ready for this year's smaller-than-normal gathering.

Henry!, meanwhile, had foraged nearby for some funghi...


He shows off the largest chanterelle from his recent "catch."

Then he darted out the door to add some more wood chips to the smoker.


Next thing was opening the Champagne, a terrific bottle of Lancelot Pienne's Grand Cru Blanc de Blancs.

We had a few little nibbles to start...

...including Alexia's homemade Pickled Carrots.


Brian and Ellen...


Alexia's spicy little soup was accompanied by a crostino with avocado.
The wine was a 2012 Rippon GewŘrztraminer from New Zealand's Central Otago region.
It's mildly fruity, with light spice notes.
I found many tasting notes on the internet for this wine which describe (more) a GewŘrztraminer from Alsace than actually describing this Kiwi wine.
If served blind, it might be pegged more as a Torrontes from Argentina or a Riesling-styled wine from numerous locales.



The smoked turkey swooped into the kitchen and looked marvelous.

Henry! then set about carving the bird.

Waiting for the main course were two little critters...


Henry! had finished performing his surgery on the bird.

Alexia had prepared a bunch of nice accompaniments.


We opened two bottles of 1999 Pinot Noir, both from Sonoma's Russian River Valley.

The Dehlinger displayed a touch of forest floor earthiness, with a bit of cherry.  It was dry, reasonably smooth and certainly at its peak.  If you have a bottle, or two, in your cellar, drink up!

The Williams Selyem 1999 had a curious burnt matchstick aroma.  This came through on the palate, as well.
It's certainly time to drink that, too.

The consensus was the Williams Selyem being the preferred wine, though I was the lone dissenter.  I found the Dehlinger to show more Pinot Noir fruit.

The smoked turkey was delicious and made all the more tasty with the mushroom sauce which accompanied it.

Ellen baked one of her famous "Crustless Apple Pies" for dessert.

The fragrances were of apples and cinnamon...beautiful!

Accompanying the dessert were two sweet wines from the Southwest of France...

2010 ChÔteau Haut-Mayne Sauternes...very fine, beautifully honeyed and sweet, with a bracing level of acidity to balance the sugar.

We also opened a 2011 Pacherenc du Vic Bilh from the famous Madiran producer, Domaine Berthoumieu.  They call it "Symphonie d'Automne" and the wine is made predominantly of Peite Manseng harvest in late November and early December.  The grapes have dehydrated  to some extent and the wine is matured in small oak barrels.
This had rather resiny aromas and someone said they found some notes reminiscent of pine in this sweet wine.

The Haut-Mayne showed some honeyed, apricot-like notes and this was generally the top choice on this occasion.


 

We thoroughly enjoyed this meal!

Special thanks to Alexia and Henry! for assembling all the particulars and hosting.

 

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