Finding the perfect Thanksgiving wines
You wouldn’t settle for just one course for your Thanksgiving dinner. So why limit your selection of wines?
Having at least three different options available will let you have the perfect wine for every part of the occasion. The farm wineries and vineyards in Connecticut Wine Country have plenty of options to choose from.
A glass of white wine is an excellent way to greet your guests while meal preparations are underway. For the dinner itself, light- or medium-bodied wines are preferable to full-bodied ones, which can compete with the rich flavors of the dinner. LaCrescent, Cayuga, and Frontenac are all options that work well with your Thanksgiving spread.
When it’s time to bring out dessert, offer a sweeter option. Pop the cork on a bottle of Riesling, ice wine, or port to close out the feast.
Pairing wine with the right gift
A bottle of wine from a Connecticut winery makes an excellent present for the holidays. Consider one of these gifts as well for a perfect pairing.
Does your loved one’s collection of wine glasses need some refreshing? Give them a new set of stemware so they can enjoy their wine in style.
Wine isn’t such a great gift if there isn’t a good way to open it. Throw in a higher quality corkscrew, and you’ll be able to pop the top right away.
Many wineries in Connecticut Wine Country offer shirts, hats, and other apparel at their tasting rooms. If your loved one is a particularly devoted fan of a venue, pick up a piece of clothing when you purchase your wine.
Have that bottle of wine be the start of a closer relationship with a favorite vineyard. Several venues offer wine clubs, where members regularly receive the latest varietals.
Enroll a loved one in an Adopt-A-Vine program, which not only helps support the growth of a farm winery but offers special perks such as a vineyard tour when you come to pick up your bottle of wine.
Invite your loved one to indulge themselves with a bar or two of delicious chocolate. Use dark chocolate if you bought a full-bodied wine or milk chocolate if you made a lighter selection.
Add a gift certificate to encourage a tasting room experience, attendance at a special event at the winery, or to restock their collection at home.
Get on board with charcuterie
Charcuterie is a perfect way to wow a crowd ahead of your Thanksgiving dinner, serve your guests at a Christmas party, or simply enjoy a light snack while sipping on wine.
The typical charcuterie board includes a selection of cured meats and cheeses, but there are endless ways to feature other small bites as well. These might include olives, dried fruits, nuts, crackers, and a selection of dips and spreads.
When pairing charcuterie with wine, it’s best to go for a balanced option that can complement the array of flavors. Chardonnay, Merlot, Frontenac Gris, and Pinot Noir all work well for this purpose.
Your selection can also be influenced by what’s on the board. Spicier options will demand a more full-bodied wine, while lighter fare can be paired with a mild option.
Mull your options
Many of the vineyards on the Connecticut Wine Trail have active orchards that produced a bounty of apples this year, and others partnered with local farms at harvest time. The result is an array of tasty apple wines!
Apple wines pair perfectly with salads with crumbled blue cheese, dessert boards piled with chocolate and salted and roasted nuts, or a steaming crock of chicken and dumplings.
With the colder weather comes mulled wine, prepared warm with spices and ingredients like honey, brandy, and orange. It’s the perfect way to relax and stay toasty at the end of the day.
And while the sun has set on rosé season, you can still pick up a bottle or two of this summer favorite, to tide you over until the long warm days of spring return.
Do we hear wedding bells in the distance? If you became engaged over the holidays, congratulations! Right now you’re probably just starting your to-do list. Wedding planning season ramps up in February so if you’re thinking about venues now, you’re way ahead of the game.
There are so many options to explore, but a farm venue is definitely worth checking out.
Consider these advantages:
- Scenery: Like, incredible scenery. Rolling hills, gardens of flowers, ancient trees, vineyards, ponds and streams, and wide blue skies.
- Space: Space for kids to run around; for the most lavish or most simple ceremonies; for chairs pitched around a bonfire and stories long into the evening. Space for parking, for lawn games, for both the ceremony and reception AND photos you’ll want to keep forever.
- Creativity: With nature as your stunning backdrop, everything else is just a gorgeous detail. Hang long strings of lights from the barn rafters or lanterns from the trees. Set your tables with overflowing flower arrangements or place a simple daisy in a glass near each plate. The magic of a farm setting lends beauty to the simplest or most elaborate decor.
- Privacy: With trees and fields as neighbors, you won’t have to stress about the kids laughing too loudly, or your cousins singing along with the band – off-key.
Get started! If you’re already giving serious thought to your setting – a rustic barn with green fields, a stone patio bordered by wildflower gardens, or a farm winery overlooking the ocean – visit CTGrown.org and search for “events.” And happy planning!
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Enjoy a glass of wine by the fire or send someone special their favorite wine from a Connecticut Farm Winery!
Through the long afternoon light of autumn, or the pink-blue skies of summer; through winter’s white fields or spring’s green and flowering trees, a drive to a Connecticut farm winery is always in season.
Wineries welcome fall and winter visitors with fire blazing in a cozy hearth and tasting rooms warmed by live music and the laughter of friends. Spring and summer invite picnics, festivals, and spectacular sunsets.
No matter where you travel in our beautiful state, there is a winery within an hour. The wines of Connecticut are cultivated in our rich coastal soil – land that has sustained life here for generations. Plan an excursion, and be prepared to be indulged by the caliber of Connecticut wines.
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