Gobble, Gobble.


Like all good Thanksgivings, Thanksgiving 2018 started with alpacas and a good old fashion chase. Paul (pictured below), my French friend I met in Hong Kong who joined the us for turkey day this year, worried this private property protector would bear arms, but I assured him Gladstone was, in my vast experience, largely nonviolent.


Not to be easily deflated, we shot down the road for fresh air of another sort.


A la mansion. Natirar, to be specific. A quick stroll in the sub-freezing weather was just enough to feel like we accomplished something other than eating and Jenga for the day.


Because that’s all we did for the rest of the day. Back at casa McPhate everyone* worked diligently to get this exquisite turkey centric meal onto the table.

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*including preparing the wine selection


We began with a delicious magnum of Clotilde Davenne Cremant de Bourgogne. I had this a few weeks back at L’Antagoniste which, only mere blocks from my last apartment, now feels like entire lifetime away. The dinner was fab and this sparkler a star, and at $55 for a magnum, a total value play for anyone looking for an almost Champagne.


The white to be enjoyed with dinner was this fabulous Ramonet Chassagne Morgeot from Paul. Rich and totally opulent, this 2015 indicates this is indeed a strong vintage for Burgundy whites. Wow – absolutely delicious and just a pup. This is going to give pleasure for many, many years to come.


Classic Thanksgiving fare graces this table each year. From left to right: Cranberries, an assortment of breads (cornbread, brioche, and cranberry raisin), vegetable salad, pumpkin pie, more cranberries, fruit compote, brussels sprouts, sweet potatoes topped with a walnut crumble, potatoes a gruyere gratin, gravy, turkey and the best part of any feast, stuffing.


We eventually retired to the living room for a Jenga marathon (I won Paul!), the world’s greatest pumpkin pie, and some Final Table, which if you haven’t watched, you need to. A cross between Chef’s Table and Top Chef, but elevated with the best chefs around the world, it’s almost a cliff’s notes to the world’s greatest restaurants and the masters behind them. Like Chef’s Table, it is a feast for the eyes as much as it’s a feast for the who’s-who of judges. Although, Dax Sheppard? Let’s go Shane!

Not pictured are a few other delicious bottles, most notably the Gourt de Mautens Vaucluse 2015. I love love love this wine, and it did not disappoint with all of its rich plum, fig and floral character which is wonderfully elevated with a plethora of earth and spice (think: garrigue, black pepper, and thyme). Yum. We also opened a bottle of Cabernet Franc from Anjou, but fell asleep from Jenga exhaustion before we had a chance to finish it.

The next afternoon we cracked another one of my favorites, Domaine Hauvette Petra Rose from Provence, with an incredible lunch of leftovers. Not your typical rose, this is raised in cement eggs for over a year before aging a further year in bottle before release. Superbly textured and full of savory raspberry fruit, this too is one to age. If you can stay away from it, right Brian?


What’s better than to quite literally prepare and break (corn)bread with family and friends? Alas, all good things come to an end. Lucky for me, we get to do it all again next month….



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