Once upon a time, in a cozy West Coast home, preparations were underway for a Thanksgiving feast that would capture the essence of the region. The bountiful offerings of the Pacific coast were eagerly anticipated—a unique and delicious celebration. Eventually the family would wander into the house, the son, the daughter, the extended family with aunts, uncles, and cousins. All to be greeted with a myriad of dinner courses, fine conversations, and of course, local wines from California to Washington State to complement the diverse flavors of the meal.
As guests mingled deciding to sit or move around the house a little more before dinner, they enjoyed artisanal bread and a selection of cheeses, showcasing the West Coast's dedication to high-quality, locally made products. This delectable appetizer set the stage for an unforgettable culinary journey. The 2021Lapis Luna Rose, from Central Coast, California, is a delicate wine with aromas of strawberries, raspberries, and watermelon mixed with gentle mouth-watering acidity that brings out the mid-palate tartness and lemon-citrus. Just right for lubricating good humor.
Diving into the first round of dinner, the guests receive an array of vibrant, seasonal vegetables, including Brussels sprouts, kale, butternut squash, and mushrooms, all locally harvested. Each dish was an homage to the West Coast's commitment to farm-to-table freshness. Also from Central Coast, California is the 2022 Brea Wine Chardonnay, with its energetic green-apple aromas and bold fruit flavors of lime, Asian pear, and pineapple, which are backed by a slight buttery, oak note that perfectly cuts through the butter on the vegetables, and is complementary against the garlic seasoning. The chardonnay is also going to sit well against local seafood. A platter of freshly caught salmon and Dungeness crab was being prepared, highlighting the abundance of seafood that defined the region's culinary landscape.
The centerpiece of the dinner was a beautifully roasted turkey, but it was no ordinary bird; it was a free-range, locally sourced turkey, ensuring a mouthwatering and sustainable experience. The kitchen buzzed with activity as they considered various preparations, from grilling to smoking, to make it truly West Coast-style. The 2020 Two Mountain Hidden Horse Red Blend from Yakima Valley, Washington, brings a bit of laying of flavors like spice, dark fruit, pipe tobacco, and overripe cherries that would complement a grilled or smoke bird (or ham).
For those with different dietary preferences, there were vegetarian and vegan options on the menu. Stuffed acorn squash and vegetable-based main courses catered to health-conscious and environmentally aware diners, showing the West Coast's commitment to inclusive and sustainable eating. Pairing on this is the 2020 Well Hung Que Syrah, Syrah where the juice is from Washington State, but the wine is vinified here in Virginia. The flavors play off the caramelized sweetness of roasted vegetables with the wines counterbalance of dried herbs, blackcurrants, toast, vanilla, and dried blackberry notes.
The cranberry sauce had a delightful twist, blending the tang of cranberries with the sweetness of local citrus fruits like oranges, adding a refreshing zest to the meal. Herbs and spices, such as rosemary, thyme, and sage, were generously used, reflecting the region's rich culinary tapestry, influenced by various cultural flavors.
No Thanksgiving dinner would be complete without the classic pumpkin and apple desserts. Guests savored traditional pumpkin pie and apple pie, featuring local apple varieties, or indulged in creative pumpkin-inspired creations. For this, the Well Hung Creamy Dreams was pulled out. The basis is Virginia Viognier, cut by cream and a dash of dark chocolate extract which, results in something like a Kalula.
The West Coast Thanksgiving dinner was not just a feast but a celebration of the region's rich culinary diversity. As the family and their guests raised their glasses in a toast, they gave thanks for the flavorful traditions and innovations that made this meal a truly memorable West Coast Thanksgiving.