In 2017, the Vermont Fresh Network polled their wine and cider makers for recommendations of wines to appear on the Thanksgiving table, and this is what they had to say.
Looking forward to 2018, we’ve got some more recommendations for exploring Vermont wine and cider this holiday season. Options for these locally produced beverages, using ingredients grown here in Vermont, only get better each year. . . these lists are a short sample of the possibilities. So, use the ideas below for a starting point, but be sure to check out all the local producers listed on DigInVT.
- Marquette Nouveau from Lincoln Peak - We have to start with this Nouveau, Vermont’s answer to Beaujolais Nouveau (aka “Thanksgiving Wine”). They're hosting a Nouveau Release Party at their New Haven vineyard on Nov. 17th.
- Ice Cider Cocktails - From an earlier Vermont Fresh Network post of ice cider ideas, we present these cocktail hour possibilities: Ice Cider Basil Royale, Vermont Ice Cider Cocktail from Boyden Valley Winery, Cider meets Guinness (if the Internet says it tastes good then it must), a long cocktail list from Quebec (technically they had ice cider first, so it’s okay, we can trust them).
- Ice Cider and Cheese Plates - Ice Cider and Cheese are a delicious combination. Some recommended cheeses: Cabot Clothbound, Vermont Creamery St. Albans, Lazy Lady La Roche, Vermont Shepherd Invierno. And don’t neglect the garnishes - tart heirloom apples and roasted almonds make great accompaniments.
- Want to go all out with your cheese? We’ve appreciated the input of Mary Tuthill at Mad River Taste Place and Adam Goddu at Eden Cider when it comes time to pick the perfect Vermont cheese. The new Eden Taproom in Winooski offers regular classes, including on cheese and pairings. Plus, many wineries with tasting rooms offer cheese tastings and at Shelburne Vineyard you can schedule private educational tastings with wine and cheese.
- Boyden Cranberry Wine or Putney Mountain Simply Cranberry Wine with Vermont Blue Cheeses: Cranberries and blue cheese are a classic combination, so it’s no surprise that the same is true for cranberry wine. Add Blake Hill Preserves 'Cheese Pairing' marmalades to the plate for an extra Thanksgiving touch.
- Sparkling Cranberry Mead from Artesano Meadery: A slightly unexpected version of “cranberry”, this light effervescent mead matches particularly well to dishes with a strong spice profile - and if you’re the type to pile all the leftovers into a giant sandwich the next day, this is a great choice (every dish needs a recommended pairing, even Dagwoodian sandwiches).
- Maquam Pear Wine, Putney Mountain Simply Pear Wine, or Windfall Farmhouse Perry with Rosemary: First off, rosemary belongs everywhere on the Thanksgiving table, from the mashed potatoes to the rolls to dessert (rosemary buttercream, you heard it here). Once you’ve achieved full rosemary potential, stock up on these pear based wines.
- Sapling Maple Liqueur from Saxton's River Distillery and Whipped Cream: Combine this maple dessert beverage with fresh Vermont heavy cream, whip, dollop, and any dessert will be heavenly. (To be more specific, combine 1 cup cream, 1.5 Tb liqueur, 1 Tb confectioner's sugar in a chilled bowl and whip until there are soft peaks).