casa del vino

Where wine is on the table everyday

Day 87: Thanksgiving Was a Winner – by a Landslide . . .

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The votes are in – tallies have been counted – it’s official by a landslide . . . another Thanksgiving has come and gone.  Just like that – the leftovers are eaten or made into a yummy looking soup (Cathy – the pictures made us hungry!) – out-of-town guests are all back home safely – daughter #1 and daughter #2 are tucked in at their respective universities.  Most folks are ready for a new week of work.  (OK, that may be a stretch!) And, we’ve settled in for another night of Sunday Night Football, The Amazing Race and The Food Network!

We’ve previously mentioned our trip to Napa and Sonoma back in 2008 and one of the places we visited was Simi Vineyards, and it is still one of our favorites to this day.  In fact the day we visited, the temperatures were ideal for an outdoor picnic and so we enjoyed a terrific lunch under huge trees in a garden setting.  Of course, we enjoyed our dining with some wine from Simi!  Over the years, we’ve enjoyed Simi Cabernet Sauvignon as well as other varietals.  Because Simi is so readily available in stores, you might think that it’s just another commercialized wine–and nothing could be further from reality.

We still remember Thanksgiving 1984 – we’d moved into our first home–9607 Poynes in Houston to be exact–and we were hosting Thanksgiving for both sets of parents and other family members as well as new neighbors.  The day was your typical south Texas November–a cool morning followed by a beautiful afternoon.  The turkey was on the “Old Timer” smoker and the rest of the food was coming together.  As the afternoon progressed, the bird cooked pretty well considering the wind, but it was obvious that this bird was going to need some additional attention before it was set to be carved!  Unfortunately, as the day wore on, Brian began feeling less than healthy and after taking the turkey off the smoker and putting it in the oven ( in a roasting pan), he ended up curled up in a ball on the bed–not sure what the bug was that day–and the turkey was left to be finished in the oven.  As the heat of the bird mixed with the heat of the oven, the juice of the turkey spilled into the roasting pan creating a smoky mess–at the exact moment that the turkey juice was meeting the hot surface of the roasting pan, Brian was carrying Bob the Cat down the hall to the litter box.  There is NOTHING worse than holding a cat when the smoke detectors go off.  We’re not 100% sure why it went off the way it did but Bob’s claws went deep into the skin (prompting a quick release) and the house filled with a heavy odor of turkey smoke!  Unfortunately, Jean was left to fend for herself with the help of family members.  To this day, we really don’t know what caused Brian to get sick on that Thanksgiving day, but all well that ends well, and the food from family and friends was terrific.  Unfortunately, in those days, we had NO idea how good wine could taste, so when we got to this point of the day, it was our decision to open our favorite bottle of German white wine–a Spatlese that we thought was ‘the bomb’!  Little did we know at the time that this was actually a DESSERT wine!  Long story short, the dinner went really well, Bob the Cat was no worse for the wear and health returned to the family.

Not that tonight was like the evening back in 1984, but we’ve learned a few things about wine in the past 20+ years.  Tonight’s 2008 Simi Landslide Cabernet Sauvignon is and has been one of our favorites.  The 2007 vintage was off the charts phenomenal, and the 2008 while having a huge reputation to live up to from the previous year, still managed to satisfy those of us who really enjoy good wine!  Upon opening this bottle, the most remembered scent was a “mustiness” that doesn’t ring true to what we are used to – warm and inviting aromas of sweet black cherry, cassis, plum, blackberry, raspberry, dark roasted coffee, brown sugar, vanilla, and smoky mineral notes. On the palate, dark berries and plums meet up with roasted coffee accents. The entry is big, full, and rich, followed by a focused middle and a youthful finish with a slight grip and dark roasted offering. So, although we were disappointed, we would both buy and try this wine again in a heartbeat – maybe we just got a bad bottle – sadly that happens some time.

Although the wine for tonight fell short – our Thanksgiving did not – it was a grand time to see family and friends alike.  To our family – thanks for a wonderful couple of days – hope to repeat next yer!

After you’ve packed away the Turkey – please remember to celebrate responsibly and recycle when you ever possible – by the way . . . heads up, the Christmas season is here in full force!


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