Paul enlisted my help in the search for wines, and a trip to the wine shop yielded a half dozen bottles. Those actually consumed have all been mentioned on this blog at one time or another: Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc, Beaujolais Nouveau (got to introduce a few folks to their first sip of Beaujolais!), and the Hayman & Hill Chardonnay. I don't obsess over wine pairings with Thanksgiving; there's too many dishes with too many conflicting tastes, and I figure it's best to go with something fun and easy-drinking that will appeal to a broad range of palates and wine experience.
After dinner, the gentlemen retired to the back porch to take advantage of a few treasures brought back from Brazil by Paul Schwartz: Pousada 10 Year Old Tawny Port (made by a subsidiary of Poças in Portugal) and Dona Flor cigars. The Port was great on its own, but didn't fully develop until paired with the Maduro Robusto style cigar. The time span from the first glass of wine to the last stogie died was around six hours, definitely a pleasant way to spend Thanksgiving.
On the following day, instead of fighting the crowds at the shopping malls, Paul and I regrouped with Schwartz and his lovely family to take advantage of leftovers and another treasure from the Southern Hemisphere: cachaça, the clear sugar cane spirit that is somewhere between rum and tequila. The favored preparation is in a cocktail called a caipirinha, which has become somewhat trendy in a few parts of the US. Here's how they were prepared on Friday:
Caipirinha de Senhor Schwartz
- 1 highball glass
- 1½ limes (in large pieces, interior white pith removed)
- ¼ cup sugar
- shot of cachaça (we used Cachaça Brasiliana--this is the only photo I could find online, no luck on the producer)
Bright, fruity, and surprisingly smooth.