I simply love November with its bright deep oranges and reds cascading through and kissing the damp floors. The fresh breeze caressing your face and, oh, the scents of pumpkin pie, apples, and cinnamon. The drop in temperature and the early nights are so inviting, so intimately perfect… They are the perfect time to enjoy a glass of wine in front of the fireplace.
I have to confess, November (and Autumn as a whole) in England were more “Autumn-y” than in Texas, but nevertheless Autumn remains my favourite time of the year. America did bring the addition of Thanksgiving into my November, and I embrace it as one of my own now. Such a fantastical thing to celebrate; THANKS! It’s a time to stop one moment to savour the grandiosity of life and count our blessings, as well as a time to unite as a family and slow down from our busy schedules to be together. I wish more people would simply enjoy November without rushing into Christmas. Take your time and enjoy the moment… Christmas will come regardless, with its pretty colours and its own scents and magical moments.
Thanksgiving brings me to think about family gatherings and blessings. Makes me think of fireplaces and pumpkin pies. Thanksgiving makes me think about family stories, turkey, and wine. Oh, and let’s not forget cranberries! Those little gems! Bursting with flavour, a little juicy explosion in your mouth.
So speaking of Thanksgiving, last year we didn’t have turkey. We were concerned about the ways in which turkeys are treated, overfed, and exploited for Thanksgiving purposes. But since then, we have learned about some organic, cage-free, humane farms across the states that raise turkeys so we are still debating whether to go for one of them or simply ditch the turkey altogether this year, too. Other alternatives can vary from family to family. Mashed potatoes, baked sweet potatoes, lentils, creamy baked leeks, quinoa, mac-n-cheese, pumpkin risotto, spinach turnovers, and beet salad are among my favourite items for this year’s menu.
You can pair all of these with either red or white wine, for which I suggest trying K-J AVANT Red Blend from California. It is a fruity, bold wine with ripe raspberry and pomegranate and delicate hints of vanilla and cocoa. Red wines usually go better with red meats, but I find the bold flavour pairs very well with vegetables too, especially with leafy greens such as kale or spinach. Then, if you’d rather pair with white wine, I recommend K-J AVANT Californian Sauvignon Blanc. Fresh, tangy and light goes perfect with any vegetarian dish.
And if you want to change things up a little and dare to bring a little of England’s Christmas flavours into the table, how about making some mulled wine? Oh the aroma! Simply pour a bottle of K-J AVANT red wine into a pan with some orange and some spices, such as star anise and cinnamon, and let it simmer for 15mins in a very low heat. You can let it simmer for longer to create a stronger and spicier beverage, or you can use a crockpot and let it simmer for a few hours on a low setting. Enjoy warm! Cheers!
Just remember, drink responsibly, slow down, and enjoy the moment.
Christmas will come next, but for now… Enjoy the Autumn!