Friday, December 3, 2010

Thanksgiving Punt

I finally figured out my years' long frustration with trying to match a good beer with Thanksgiving dinner - I drank wine.  I had several holiday beers in the fridge but didn't crack one with dinner.  Of course, I couldn't shun beer all day, while preparing the feast I worked my way through The Lost Abbey's Red Barn Ale.  This saison was a perfect late afternoon drink.  It had just the right balance of yeast and spice, with a strong hop finish.  Its moderate alcohol (around 6%) allowed me to keep focused on important dinner tasks.

As I worked my through the bottle I kept thinking that I need to drink more The Lost Abbey beers.  I've had only one other Red Barn Ale, and that was when it was first released.  Devotion, Avant Garde, and Lost and Found are all outstanding, reasonably priced and readily available beers.   I think too much fuss is made over The Lost Abbey's big, special releases, while its stellar year-round beers are overlooked.

We had a pinot noir, actually a very good pinot noir, with dinner.  It was a 1995 Migration Anderson Valley, produced by Goldeneye.  It was a smooth, subdued wine that went well with the traditional Thanksgiving mish-mash of food.  Its rich profile improved over the evening.  The winemaker states:
This medium-bodied wine has bright fruit complemented by ripe and broad tannins that provide great balance and a lengthy finish.  The aroma features blueberry, plum, strawberry pie and toasted oak.  The flavors are focused and follow through with ripe strawberry, plum, and cherry, complemented by clove.
Strawberry pie?  I guess we know where beer writers get all their idiotic, flowery BS.  I did not get any of those flavors individually, but the wine was quality, and I know I made the right choice.

After dinner I was going to open a bottle of Dupont's Avec Les Bons Voeux to finish the evening, but didn't.  It would have been a waste to force down this grand beer after so much food.  I have it safely stored in my fridge.  I can't think of a better leftover.

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