Thanksgiving Trivia, Wine Edition

Pass the gravy (and wine)

Whether there was turkey at the first Thanksgiving in 1621 is still open to debate. We’re not sure about the beverage menu at that historic meal, either. But it seems likely that the Pilgrims and their Wampanoag hosts had some spirited libations in subsequent years, as the land around the settlement was full of red and white grapes, decribed as "sweet and strong" by early Plymouth settler Edward Winslow. Here’s some other Thanksgiving wine trivia to share between mouthfuls and football games:

Historians at Plymouth Plantation believe that wine may have been brought over on the Mayflower. By the mid 1600s, cider — the hard kind — was a popular local beverage.

In Australia, many families uncork a bottle of sparkling shiraz — a methode Champenoise wine made with local grapes — with their bird. THE CHOOK Sparkling Shiraz non-vintage (Australia) $15 is deep purple and bursting with berry flavors and balanced tannins, making it a great pairing for light or dark meat.

The Thanksgiving celebration held in Connecticut in 1817 was quite a spirited affair, according to an account in the New York Commercial Advertiser on Food Timeline.org. The guests consumed 150 gallons each of wine and brandy,120 gallons of gin, 1,000 gallons of rum, and a combined 6,000 gallons of cider and whiskey.

Pumpkin makes a tasty pie; the orange gourd’s flesh also yields a fetching wine, according to the McCain family over at Three Lakes Winery. The eau du pumpkin is described as a semi-sweet wine reminiscent of chardonnay. Their other Thanksgiving claim to fame? It’s the THREE LAKES WINERY Cranberry Wine non-vintage (Wisconsin) $10, which has won numerous awards since its debut in 1972.

We have some smart wine marketers and negociant Georges Duboeuf. to thank for the Thanksgiving turkey with Beaujolais Nouveau tradition. Normally, eaujolais can’t be released until December. But Duboeuf created the nouveau category and released the young, fresh and fruity gamay wine the second week of November. The wine’s release was later changed to the third week of November, so it could be touted in the U.S. as a good Thanksgiving wine. Which it is.

For more turkey talk, visit The Daily Meal's Guide to Thanksgiving!

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