Canadian Thanksgiving is today…and it’s truly one of my favourite holidays! I love the crisp, cool air, the endless sunshine (in these parts, we get a lot) and the panorama of autumn colours is pretty astounding! The Capital Region River Valley (I live in the Capital city of Alberta – Edmonton, just in case you’re wondering) teems with folks walking their dogs, throwing the toys for retrieval, and those same dogs taking a dip down by the river’s edge. The dogs don’t care that the water is cooler, they just like to chase that stick!
As we know, 2020 has been a challenging year, and one might wonder what there is to be thankful for! But indeed for me there is…I still have my health, I’ve had a job through all the lockdowns, shutdowns, smackdowns, whatever, I’ve still been employed! I’m one of the blessed ones, as I work in an industry that is deemed “essential”. I’m holding out hope that ours (as well as other economies) will remain open, albeit with some strict(er) measures. I fear that to shut everything down again would lead to some serious demise. And when I say demise, I mean anarchy & riots. All that to say, I’m thankful. My house is warm & secure, I’m employed full time, as is Mr. Joy of Wine and one daughter who is full time in her chosen field (a Registered Nurse) and the other, University & part time work. All of us in an “essential” service, so there’s much to be thankful for and I always like to put it in writing!
My job offers me the ability to taste, analyze and purchase wine for the consumer; keeping in mind that it is something I think might sell for immediate consumption, cellaring, or gifting. By the way, Christmas is only 11 weeks away…it’s never too early to start shopping! Stay tuned for another blog about gift ideas!
My big turkey dinner was last night. Canadian Thanksgiving calls for Canadian wine. It’s a tradition in fact to drink Canadian wine on Thanksgiving! Two amazing wineries (one small and one medium sized) with well-made wines to grace our tables! They also happen to be two of my favourites. The winemakers have been in the industry for a good while, making them somewhat mavericks of their areas and the grapes they grow.
Grant Stanley of Spearhead Winery, has been in the area for more than 15 years. A New Zealander originally, he comes by growing and producing Pinot Noir honestly. It’s the signature red grape of the region (NZ), and it’s one he specializes in, and does so very well. But his Clone 95 Chardonnay graced my table yesterday (Btw, another grape he is fond of growing!) and married well with all those flavours of roast turkey, gravy, mashed potatoes and roasted Brussel sprouts with bacon. My bad, I failed to take a photo of said food spread, but needless to say, it all went over very well (with everyone having their own serving spoon to dish up…sigh). The wine disappeared very quickly.
Then there was Marcus Ansems Daydreamer Pinot Gris. The Australian born MW and his wife Rachel had a dream to start their own project, and with a little piece of Naramata Bench in the Okanagan they did just that. The 2018 left with a hint of RS on the palate to deliver a weightier, fuller mouth feel Pinot Gris with just a hint of sweetness on the tip of the tongue. By the way, turkey soup is on the menu tonight and the saltiness of the soup will enhance the sweetness of this wine. Oops, I’ve already had a bowl for lunch so I know this is true! (Yes, there was some leftover wine today, but won’t be by tomorrow!) It was a perfect match, my soup and the pinot gris. This wine is a great way to start diving into the world of quality wines, for those that need a wine which is a bit sweeter. It reminded me of ripe pears and golden delicious apples, baked in the oven with nutmeg & cinnamon…flavours of Fall indeed!
That was all last night. Today, I’m thankful that we can celebrate just being Thankful. In fact, we should be doing it everyday, not just on a specified day where many of us as Canadians have the day off. Let’s be thankful for the freedom to still be with those that we love (albeit in smaller numbers). But this, like any other pandemic, will soon be a distant memory. I’m being optimistic when I say that. I’m sure I’m not the only one hoping for a bit of “normalcy” in 2021 and beyond. My American friends will have their day later on next month.
There’s always something to be thankful for. Always. It might only be one thing, but there’s always something. Enjoy a glass of good wine tonight with someone you love and celebrate all the things we are Thankful for! Salute!
SG and I have had the pleasure of the Daydreamer Pinot Gris – it’s a solid offering from the Naramata Bench. We were put on to the winery this August when we met up with both Kurtis Kolt and Chef Ned Bell at the Naramata Inn… Kurtis said Daydreamer was a “must stop”.