A Texas Thanksgiving

Hi Smiley’s and Wine Enthusiasts,

This month I am so excited to share with you my pairing of Texas Wines and Thanksgiving inspired hors d’ oeuvres. The wines range from the Texas Hill Country all the way to the High Plains. Be sure to grab your notepad because you are going to want to try these delicious pairings yourself.

What’s on the Menu:

Food Bites:

Meat: Smoked Honey Cured Ham and Cracked Pepper Roasted Turkey Breast

Bread: Sweet Cornbread

Cheese: Cranberry Orange Goat Cheese

Fruit: Opal Apple Slices

Desserts:

Texas Pecan Caramel Brownies

Pumpkin Spice Tea Cakes

Strawberries

Jazz Apple Slices

Hershey Chocolate Bars

Wines:

  • Becker Vineyards: Chardonnay, 2018
  • Becker Vineyards: Viognier, 2019
  • McPherson Cellars: La Herencia Red Table Wine, 2017
  • Llano Estacado: Cellar Reserve Texas Red Blend, Limited Release
  • Heath Sparkling Wine: Adoration, 2017
  • English Newson Cellars: Spider Rock Bourbon Barrel Aged Dessert Wine

Tasting Notes and Pairings:

Becker Vineyards: Chardonnay, 2018

This dry, white wine has notes of honey and pineapple. The wine paired nicely with the cranberry orange goat cheese, opal apple slices and the cracked pepper roasted turkey breast.

Becker Vineyards: Viognier, 2019

This is a dry, white wine with peach and floral notes on the nose and palate. Because of the fruit notes, the wine paired nicely with the apple slices and the goat cheese. This Viognier can easily be paired with the turkey or ham that you choose on your menu.

I think both wines complemented the charcuterie plate well. The wines did not overpower the food bite nor did the food bite overpower the wine. However, what I look for in pairings is for me to recognize the original notes in the wine and the flavors of the dish. In addition, I like to discover new flavor profiles from the combining of the two. Here, I didn’t pick up on any additional notes when I included the food bite in the tasting.

McPherson Cellars: La Herencia Red Table Wine, 2017

This is a dry, red wine with notes of berry and earth. Pairing this alongside the peppered turkey really opened up those earth notes in the wine. Also, the sweet cornbread created this umami profile in the mouth. Delicious!

Llano Estacado: Cellar Reserve Texas Red Blend, Limited Release

Now you know that I am in LOVE with Llano’s 1836, but this wine right here came in to a close second. I really enjoyed this wine. It is a dry, red wine, (of course, my fav) with notes of berry, earth and pepper. What I truly enjoyed about this wine is that I could taste the berry on the palate. Often, I pick up berry in the nose but it is rare that I will actually taste berry on the palate with the dry reds that I have tried thus far. This wine paired phenomenally with the ham and the goat cheese. Pairing it with the cornbread reminded me of cake, so that was a treat.

Next Up, Desserts!

Heath Sparkling Wine: Adoration, 2017

This is a dry, sparkling wine with notes of floral, apple, cranberry and cherry. It has a rose gold hue and lots of bubbles. This wine paired perfectly with the strawberries, chocolate bars and apple slices.

English Newson Cellars: Spider Rock Bourbon Barrel Aged Dessert Wine

This is a sweet, dessert wine with notes of raisin, pecan and chocolate. It tastes like every layer of my German Chocolate Cake! The wine paired nicely with all of the desserts, and when pairing, it created new flavors on my palate. I get really excited when this happens. Here are the creations below:

  • Brownie: pairing brought out caramel notes in the wine.
  • Chocolate: pairing created a dark chocolate flavor profile.
  • Strawberry: pairing created a chocolate cake with strawberries flavor.
  • Apples: pairing created a cinnamon glazed apple and brandied apple flavor.
  • Pumpkin Spice Tea Cake: pairing created a raisin bread flavor.

Now, is your mouth watering or what!! I hope that you enjoyed this post as much as I did and that you try some of the wines and food bites mentioned. If you do, be sure to leave a comment here or on my Instagram page. Have a Happy Thanksgiving and I look forward to sharing with you again soon.

XOXO, Smiling Danny

Salu’d

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Sweet Wines with Your Sweetheart Series: Dr. Loosen Riesling Kabinett

Happy Valentine’s Day Smileys and Wine Enthusiasts!
Thank you so much for joining me in this Series. I truly enjoyed tasting all of these sweet wines with you and for you. And thank you to all of you who have reached out and asked me for Sweet Wine recommendations. I appreciate all of your support and encouragement in this blogging journey.
I wanted to end this Series by sharing with you the wine that I will be serving this evening and the meal that I am pairing alongside it.

Tasting Notes:

  • Wine: Dr. Loosen Blue Slate Riesling Kabinett
  • Vintage: 2017
  • Region: Blue Slate Vineyards located in the middle of Mosel, Germany
  • Sight/Clarity: Clear with a hint of effervescence.
  • Bouquet: Minerals in the Ocean, Oyster, Salt Water
  • Taste: A light Moscato with notes of mineral and hints of fuzzy peach. There is a nice acidity in the wine that creates this soft, glossy, refreshing feel on the sides of my cheeks.
  • Overall: This wine reminds me of Pier 39 in San Francisco.  Drinking this wine floods my memory with the wonderful times that I spent there with My Forever Valentine. How exciting that we will get to enjoy this wine together this evening and reminiscence on shared memories.
  • Pairing: This wine you can enjoy as an aperitif (on it’s own) or serve with spicy dishes. Asian and Seafood dishes would also pair nicely with this wine.

Dinner:

I will be pairing this Riesling with Quail stuffed with Jalapeno and wrapped in Bacon, Sauteed Potatoes and Peppers; and an Oven Roasted Squash Medley.  For dessert, we will be having cocoa cinnamon rolls with a marshmallow creme glaze.

I hope this weekend is filled with loving memories with friends, families and cherished ones. Enjoy your time with yourself and with others.

XOXO, Smiling Danny

Salu’d

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