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Carl Hudson
November 23, 2016 | Wine "Fun" Facts | Carl Hudson

Holiday Wines and the Thanksgiving Feast

Most of us gather with family and friends for a traditional Thanksgiving feast.  It is a very special time, and certainly one of the most treasured traditions here in the United States of America.  For me, that Thanksgiving feast is accompanied by several special bottles of wine selected to pair with all those amazing food items we tend to serve during the holiday.  Here are several recommended selections available at 4.0 Cellars. 

Recent 4.0 Cellars Wine Club release wines included the following reds, each of which would be a marvelous addition to the Thanksgiving table. 

Brennan Vineyards Tempranillo 2014 Texas – This Tempranillo/Petite Sirah blend is loaded with cherry aromas, tart blackberry flavors and notes of toasty oak, leather and sweet cured tobacco.  This one is for the more serious wine aficionados at the table. 

McPherson Cellars Tre Colore (Red) 2015 Texas – A blend of Cinsault, Carignan and Viognier (yes, some white in the blend), this wine offers a gentle, smooth texture with cherry and cranberry aromas and flavors.  Pretty much everyone will enjoy this one. 

Lost Oak Winery Holiday (Red) 2015 TX High Plains – This traditional holiday-season release from Lost Oak contains Merlot, Tempranillo and Ruby Cabernet.  It offers lots of bold fruit aromas & flavors with just a hint of sweetness at the finish (pair with honey-baked ham and sweet potato casserole).  Again, this is a basic crowd-pleaser. 

For white wines, the following are strongly recommended for your holiday table. 

4.0 Cellars Roussanne 2015 TX High Plains (by Brennan Vyds.) – This is a luscious wine with aromas of key lime, apple and orange blossom.  The flavors of ripe peach and toasted hazelnuts lead to a full finish with silken mouthfeel.  A perfect match for Turkey!

McPherson Cellars Sparkling Wine N.V. Texas – Sparkling wines always enhance a special day, celebration or meal.  This 100% Chenin Blanc brings bright acidity and a delicate sweetness, with lively acidity that dances across the palate and enlivens crisp apple flavors on the finish.  Buy some extra for the New Year’s Eve celebration!

For those interested in sweeter wines, here are some excellent choices to serve to family and friends. 

Brennan Vineyards Comanche Rose 2015 TX High Plains – Made from Cinsault grapes, this pale coral wine explodes with aromas of quince, lychee, iris and jasmine.  Fruit flavors of strawberry, pear and lychee, with notes of mint & hibiscus are so pleasant on the well-balanced, lingering finish. 

Lost Oak Winery Frizzante Moscetto 2012 TX High Plains – This blend of Dolcetto and Muscat Canelli is velvety smooth with light floral and strawberry aromas.  Flavors of sweetened cranberry, raspberry and citrus bring this sparkler to a lip-smacking finish. 

A final recommendation is accompanied by one of my favorite recipes for Thanksgiving, a Pumpkin Custard Pie in Graham Cracker Crust.  Try this combination and watch both the wine and dessert disappear before halftime of the family’s favorite football game. 

Brennan Vineyards Mistelle of Semillon Dessert Wine 2015 TX – With 16% ABV and 7% residual sugar, this classic style of sweet, fortified white dessert wine is a masterpiece from Todd Webster.  Aromas of honey & apricot with floral notes of jasmine & gardenia, coupled with flavors of canned peaches & lemon zest bring the taster to a well-balanced, lush and silky finish.  This one is hard to beat when it comes to finishing off the holiday meal. 

Pumpkin Custard Pie in Graham Cracker Crust

Adapted by Carl W. Hudson from a traditional family recipe


16 oz                 Pumpkin (1 can)

1 envelope          Gelatin, unflavored

1 tsp                 Cinnamon, ground

½ tsp                 Ginger, ground

½ tsp                 Salt

½ tsp                 Nutmeg, ground (or freshly grated is best)

2 lg                   Eggs, beaten

14 oz                 Sweetened Condensed Milk (1 can)

1 tsp                 Vanilla Extract

1                       Graham Cracker pie crust shell

                        Cool Whip or Whipped Cream


In a mixing bowl, beat eggs and then whisk in Sweetened Condensed Milk.
Into a large sauce pan, combine pumpkin, gelatin, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and salt.  Mix well.  Add egg-milk mixture to the sauce pan, and, with frequent stirring, heat gently to just a boil.  Thick mixture will tend to bubble and pop as it begins to boil. 
Remove pan from heat and stir in vanilla extract. 
Scrape pumpkin custard into the graham cracker crust.  Note:  If there is more pumpkin mixture than will fit into the pie shell, scrape the excess into a bowl and enjoy as pumpkin pudding later.  Allow pie to cool to room temperature.
Refrigerate pie until dessert time.  Serve with healthy dollop of Cool Whip or whipped cream and a glass of chilled Brennan Vineyards Mistelle of Semillon.  


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