The Vinesse Wine Team “Dishes” on their Favorite Holiday Traditions – Some May Surprise You!

Hello, friends of Vinesse!

Don’t look now, but Thanksgiving is coming up fast. And as you know, objects in the mirror may be closer than they appear!

With the holiday fast approaching, and the deadline for this email looming as well, I thought it would be interesting to poll our wine team about how the Thanksgiving holiday plays out in their homes.

I came to this task thinking that holiday traditions would be roughly similar from family to family. I was allowing for some variation and disparate views around green bean casseroles, candied yams, and Jello molds. More on that last one in Question 2!

Here are the 3 questions I posed to your wine team at Vinesse, and some of their more interesting, surprising – and entertaining – responses:

What are your “go to” wines?

The head of our wine team here at Vinesse is a Certified Wine Educator, so we put a little extra weight into her answers to questions such as this. And we promised you some entertainment, so here is her unedited reply: “we dress up the dogs in Christmas bows and take our ‘annual family photo’ for Christmas cards … but we have to do it before we eat (it’s a rule) and before we drink too much Riesling and Beaujolais. That’s a rule too.”

Among the rest of the team, the only general consensus was that Pinot Noir was the perfect red for the main meal if you’re serving turkey, or duck, or ham for that matter. We also got some consensus around Chardonnay. General Manager Nick asserted that you enjoy a Chardonnay while cooking, then you switch to a nice Pinot when the bird hits the table. (I guess that’s rule #3.)

There were also a smattering of votes for Champagne, Zinfandel (an American grape for an American holiday!) rosé and…cocktails.

What is your “signature dish”?
Bonus points for it being eclectic!

Most of us have recipes that have survived generations, but Amanda has a culinary tradition that survived the dissolution of her Dad’s first marriage. Says Amanda: “my family’s famous “Lisa Jello” is a recipe from my dad’s ex-wife. It’s a raspberry/cranberry jello with a sour cream filling. It sounds insane, but it’s the best.”

I guess they got shared custody of the jello mold recipe in the divorce.

Others on the team volunteered diet buster mashed potatoes loaded up with butter and sour cream and a sweet potato souffle. But the overachiever award goes to our wine buyer Mike, who has cooked professionally in his career: “I’ve smoked turkeys with apple wood, I’ve braised them on mounds of vegetables, broiled them, fried them, stewed them, and quartered and grilled them. I have baked them in oven bags with apple juice, and roasted them on rotisseries and Shish Kebabs, on spits Spatchcock style and have broken many a wishbone.”

Juan, the finance resource on our wine team, wins the award for most eclectic though. Since his family is of Guatemalan descent, they add tamales to the traditional Thanksgiving feast, which sparked a whole discussion of the need for stretchy pants on the big day.

What about your favorite pies?

Yep, we saved the best for last. Juan may have said it best when he said that this is like asking someone to name their favorite child.

There was very little consensus – and a few surprises – in the replies to this question. Apple comes out on top, no surprise there. The rest was a smattering of votes for boysenberry pie (qualified with “but never blueberry”), pumpkin, key lime – only, cherry, pecan, and even raisin.

Seems that our team at Vinesse is a lot like my family. We have a tradition of gathering the Wednesday night before the holiday to make our favorite pies. Of course, everyone makes a different pie. Which results in a counter full of cooling pies. But that’s just fine, as we do agree on one thing: more pie is a good thing.

There is no denying that for many of us, the 2020 Thanksgiving holiday will be different than in typical years. Nonetheless, our families will gather, and we will give thanks for the abundance of good food, good wine, and the blessings bestowed upon us. Among those that we at Team Vinesse give thanks for is to be able to do what we love and share our efforts with members like you.

We raise our glass to you and send best wishes from our Vinesse family to yours this holiday. Stay well.



Larry Dutra
CEO and Founder

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Posted in Food and Wine Pairings/Recipes
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