Chef Mike: OTBN (Open That Bottle Now) On Turkey Day… A Thanksgiving To Remember?

Well the picture came to me via a FB posting – Some good friends were all about an OTBN (Open That Bottle Now) wine night for Thanksgiving and they had the bottles of Pinot Noir lined up to prove it – 3 Sea Smoke’s; the 2005 Botella Southing and Ten! WOW now that is a great night of OBTN Wine!

For our family Thanksgiving 2009 was not quite as notable, but none the less a few OTBN wines were opened to enjoy!

First off I must confess – I love Thanksgiving because it is one of the few dinners I NEVER have to plan for and cook!!! Usually it’s at some other family member’s home and the food is their problem – I just bring the wine… This year was different in that we having a small family gathering at our house, AND thankfully I still wasn’t doing the cooking! Amazingly, The Lovely Chef’s Surprise (Lori) rose to the occasion to make the dinner and day a great one for everybody With C. S in charge of food all I had to do was get everyone through Thursday morning brunch and have the right wines ready for the rest of the day. If I successfully manage that I was home free!

The morning started off for us at “O Dark Thirty” because we had committed to a “5-K Turkey Trot” for our friends Rob & Beth. Upon getting home from the Trot, I got everyone going with a classic morning spread of toasted Bagels & Cream Cheese with chopped red onions along with 3-types of smoked salmon, a smoked albacore & smoked trout (All made fresh courtesy of Ocean Fresh Seafood – The BEST FISH MONGERS IN SO CAL!)…

I paired this fine morning fair first with a starter toast of Peach or Mango Bellini’s, but quickly moved on to open bottles of a Gruet (New Mexico) & a Mumm’s (Napa Valley) Brut Rose Sparklers. Dry lovely Rose Champagne paired with smoked fish … Ahhh – Now That Is Heaven!

Leaving the rest of the day to C. S and her girls Terra & Tawnee, I labored to make sure we had plenty of good OTBN wines to pair later with appetizers and dinner. Turkey Day can be a tough call for wine lovers… Too much heavy food with mixed up heavy flavors making it not the the big Napa Chard, Napa Cab, French Bordeaux, or even an Inky Syrah lovers type of dinner. After a great start with lovely Rose Sparkers I thought the order of the day was to remain on that path with crisp but fruit filled Rose and White Wines…. AND… Maybe a Pinot Noir or Two as a surprise with Dinner.

So with what to choose ringing in my head all morning here were the OTBN wines featured at our 2009 Thanksgiving:

For the assorted appetizers and turkey dinner our OTBN wines included an 07 Ojai Rose, an 05 Boeckel Alsatian Gewürztraminer, an 07 Mt Eden Vineyards “Edna Valley” Chard, an 07 Terredora Diapoala Falaghina, an 08 D’Arnberg “Stump Jump” Syrah (A WS Top 100 Pick), and both the 2007 Davis Bynum “Russian River” & 3-Saints “Santa Manta Valley” Pinot Noirs (Excellent Pinots from the soon to be classic 2007 vintage). By day’s end not all the wines were finished, but they were all perfect OTBN wines to share with family on the one-day each year solely meant for spending time with family and friends! …

I must say that all the wines paired beautifully to the dinner fare – First with the light starter of Mama Pat’s Special Salad – Boston Lettuce, Mandarin Oranges, Pineapple, Scallions, Golden Raisins, Toasted Almonds with a light red wine vinaigrette; and then moving on to the traditional dinner of Roasted Turkey, Stuffing, Mashed Potatoes, Gravy, Candied Walnut Yams, and Buttered Biscuits. The freshness of each of these wines complemented the heavy flavors laced throughout the dinner…

Personally I saw the Rose, the Gewürztraminer, and the Falaghina the best wines for the day! Just enough fruit in these wines with a balanced acidity and crispness that stood up to the food!

After a dessert of Traditional Pumpkin Pie made perfectly by Terra and Tawnee, I relaxed with family and enjoyed watching the Cowboys kick the crap out of the Raiders while savoring a glass of each of the 2 Pinots… No not exactly a sunset to contemplate, but in a pinch a perfect end to a perfect day with family… AND unlike scenes from a movie or words from a pundit’s columns we enjoyed our family OBTN Turkey Day with no fights over economics, politics, or religion….
WAIT – Stop the presses: A family having a Thanksgiving Day without dysfunction – What the hell was wrong with us last night???

Anyway, here is hoping all of your Turkey Days were special indeed, BUT the question as usual still remains – What was/were your OTBN wines last night????

All The Best and remember – In Vino Veritas…

Michael Fraschilla

Wine & Spirit Specialist & Partner
24-Pinot Media LLC
(805) 217-4518 Ph
(805) 522-4337 Fax

2 thoughts on “Chef Mike: OTBN (Open That Bottle Now) On Turkey Day… A Thanksgiving To Remember?

  1. I think I found Lori on Facebook first, then found out about Chef Mike from her, he and I started an e-mail exchange, and I bought the Mondavi reserves from him in the infamous "parking lot deal" blog post.

    He is very knowledgeable about wine! Love them both though have only met Mike.

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