Thanksgiving with a Spanish Twist: Turkey, Lamb, and the Wines of Navarra, Spain.
by Lauren Walsh, theswirlingdervish
A friend recently asked my advice in planning a Friendsgiving dinner – she lives far from her hometown and has decided to invite other friends to share the day with her. She’s quite accomplished in the kitchen and has decided to prepare all the courses herself, with the exception of dessert. Good for her!
Years ago, I used to host Thanksgiving at my home, inviting a rag-tag group of friends, family members, neighbors, and friends-of-friends unable to go home for the holiday. The mix changed each year, depending on who was where, and it led to some interesting interactions. But that’s a whole other post . . . .
Naturally I was flattered when she sought my help and, to be honest, I looked forward to the thought exercise. My husband and I are celebrating the holiday quietly this year and I’m sort of missing the pre-Thanksgiving festivities. Best of all, I can indulge in some creative culinary thinking without having to wash a single pot or pan.
I recently received a selection of sample bottles from the Navarra Denominación de Origen (DO) of Spain, and I thought they would lend themselves perfectly to this Friendsgiving dinner. Best known for its fresh and fruity Rosado wines, Navarra is also a center of fine-wine production, making use of both indigenous and international varieties. Tempranillo, Graciano, and Muscat mingle with Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot in an intriguing array of wines that pair easily with holiday feasts. I took each of the six wines I received and matched it with a particular course or dish.
Hors d’Oeuvres and Light Bites
Understanding that my friend would be busy in the kitchen as her guests arrived, I suggested she set up a sideboard with easy appetizers. Charcuterie, a cheese or two, olives, and almonds are all you need there. People can chat with each other as they nibble, and enjoy a nice glass of wine.