Ready to wine down and chill? Then return here each Friday to find food, movie, wine and music recommendations that are paired in a theme. Read on for an easy, no-recipe-required fabulous dinner paired with an affordable wine, some music, and a viewing suggestion. We’re here to help you sit back, wine down and chill.
Although our readership is now global (cheers to that!) many of our subscribers are based in the USA, which means that most of us celebrated American Thanksgiving yesterday. For many, it is the holiday of the year and the only time that people may travel to be reunited with family. Sadly, it seems that Mother Nature interferes with travel plans at this time every year, so all of us at Grit Daily wine down and chill hope that you’ve arrived at your turkey destination or returned home safely.
Since Thanksgiving originated to honor the harvest and express gratitude for peace between the pilgrims and the First Nations Indians, it makes sense here today to blend mindfulness, motivation and the spirit of wine down and chill. What are you thankful for? Although you may lament having to schlep from A to B in unfavorable weather conditions, fighting public transportation kicking and screaming, only to have to endure that weird uncle and annoying brother and/or his girlfriend, at least you had an invitation to a Thanksgiving table.
Waste not, want not
Americans are the most wasteful people in the world. On average, we waste about 1 lb of food each, per day. In money terms, we throw out about 20% ($900) of the $4,464 in groceries we buy each year. Add that up and it amounts to $165 billion in food wasted in the US each year. We discard 200 million pounds of turkey each Thanksgiving because most people don’t like leftovers. Ugh! Yet we have more than half a million homeless that sleep on the streets each night. Let that sink in for a moment …
We can all do better.
That said, this is a wine down and chill column which is intended to uplift you and have a little fun. So, we’re going to do something with those turkey leftovers. And we’re gonna drink!
Up on Turkey Hill
Every once in awhile, you stumble onto a family-owned little gem, like Turkey Point Vineyard in Maryland near the Chesapeake Bay. Doris Wood, Eric Behnke, and their two children, Jessica and Alex, plus a large group of volunteers that they are publicly grateful for, operate this little winery. They’ve only been at it for a few years but they’re learning and growing.
They have a small but cozy tasting room and offer a selection of reds, whites, and rosé, understandably priced at $16-20 per bottle given their low volume. Their Lighthouse White, named after the local Maryland landmark, Turkey Point Light Station, is a semi-dry and smooth blend of two white wine grapes. Notably, Vidal and chardonnay.
We’ve learned about chardonnay in previous wine down and chill columns, but we haven’t dug into Vidal Blanc. In France in the 1930s, Jean Louis Vidal was experimenting with hybrid crosses to add a new flavor dimension to the cognacs produced in the region. A few weeks ago, our wine down and chill column highlighted the differences between bourbon and cognac and how they were both derived from “burnt wine.”
As it turned out, the Vidal Blanc grapes had a particularly thick skin which made it ideally suited to growing in cooler regions. Since then, the varietal has been widely planted around the Great Lakes and its unusually high natural acidity adds balance to the sweetness which makes it an award-winning varietal in ice wines from the region.
Make mine a Turkini
Today’s wine down and chill menu suggestion is simple. Haul out those turkey leftovers and do something a little different versus simply reheating and repeating yesterday’s dinner. Try this Turkini (aka turkey panini). It’s fast, easy and delish.
Five ingredients and five steps
One, slather up both sides of a good bread like dark rye or pumpernickel with butter or mayo. Assemble turkini in a George Foreman grill or a frying pan.
Two, layer slices of smoked gouda.
Three, layer slices of granny smith apple.
Four, adding a layer of fresh spinach is optional but do it! You’ll feel better about getting some greens in you after yesterday’s shenanigans.
Five, naturally, it’s time to layer on the sliced turkey. Are you a dark or white meat fan? Add them both to make the turkini even more interesting.
Once the turkini is lightly grilled, you can add a thin layer of cranberry sauce (or jelly) or serve it on the side. Pour yourself a glass. It’s time to wine down and chill.
“I haven’t been home in years”
If you need a laugh, you absolutely cannot go wrong with John Candy and Steve Martin. Individually, they are masters at comedic timing. As a duo, they are unstoppable. One of my favorite movies of all time is Planes, Trains & Automobiles. And it’s the perfect movie for Thanksgiving as the pair battles every mode of transportation that exists towards the goal of going home for the holiday.
“You wanna hurt me? Go right ahead if it makes you feel any better. I’m an easy target. Yeah, you’re right. I talk too much. I also listen too much. I could be a cold-hearted cynic like you, but I don’t like to hurt people’s feelings. Well, you think what you want about me. I’m not changing. I like me. My wife likes me. My customers like me. ‘Cause I’m the real article. What you see is what you get.” ~John Candy
There are numerous articles that recommend Thanksgiving movies, some focus on family-friendly suggestions, some are geared towards date-night whereas others simply list their favorites. Pick one, put your feet up, then wine down and chill.