Bacon, Bourbon and more with Waits-Mast Pinot Noir by Jennifer
The "in progress" Cornbread, Bacon, Pecan Stuffing

The "in progress" Cornbread, Bacon, Pecan Stuffing

It’s a treat during the holidays to experiment with new recipes and find dishes that pair beautifully with a particular wine.

This year for Thanksgiving, Jennifer found a cornbread/pecan/bacon stuffing recipe and with the help of all members of the immediate Waits-Mast clan, we were able to try it out.

We were absolutely amazed by how beautifully it paired with our newest release, the 2008 Waits-Mast Pinot Noir from Hein Vineyard in Anderson Valley.

The stuffing was truly decadent, utilizing a heaping helping of bacon fat, which lent an enchanting smoky quality to the dish and it was perfect for Pinot Noir.

The remaining bits of wine after dinner

The remaining bits of wine after dinner

In addition to the stuffing, we served a brined Heritage turkey.

Jennifer’s mom made some family favorites: spiced yams with marshmallows, jello with sour cream and fruit, and fresh cranberry sauce.

Jennifer’s sister provided pumpkin pie as well as green beans piled with bacon (also an excellent match to the Pinot). Brother-in-law Martin added a new vegetable dish featuring winter veggies and carrots.

Also on the table: Stove Top stuffing (the family would mutiny if we didn’t) and our traditional pairing of Meetinghouse Biscuits with Shirlee Londer‘s raspberry jam (a bonus for Londer Vineyards wine club members every year).

For dessert we sampled the aforementioned pumpkin pie, chocolate truffles and cookies from Trader Joe’s, as well as Jennifer’s homemade salted caramel ice cream. Yes, there were a lot of left overs!

In an effort to find out about other magical pairings with our wines, we solicited stories from a few friends who also imbibed a little Waits-Mast for Thanksgiving. Here are their tales:

Dave’s Thanksgiving Dinner with the 2007 Waits-Mast Pinot Noir, Wentzel Vineyard (Anderson Valley)

“The last time I had Thanksgiving Dinner with my parents in our family home outside South Bend, Indiana, was probably in 1984. I would have Amtracked back from college in Massachusetts that year, getting in several hours late as usual, but presumably in time for dinner.

The train was always due in South Bend around 8am, but generally arrived around 11 or noon. “Lametrack” was in fact one reason why eventually I stopped coming home for TG while I was in college. Little did I know then that I’d go to grad school in England and then end up living in Europe, and that 25 years would fly by before I’d make it back home once again, in 2009, for our family’s Thanksgiving meal.

On my 1984 trip back home for Thanksgiving I hung out with my high-school friend Brian Mast. He was a freshman at Notre Dame that year so he was in “the Bend” over the long weekend. Brian and I probably hung out at his dorm room rather than at his parents’ house or mine because hanging out in a dorm would have been so much cooler. We also probably drank…but not wine. [editor’s note: it was Little Kings]

Dave's Thanksgiving in South Bend

Dave's Thanksgiving in South Bend: Mr. J raises a glass while Julie digs in

On my 2009 trip back home for Thanksgiving I didn’t see Brian in person, as he has long since moved on to warmer climes where grapes grow. But he was with us in spirit (and “en bouteille”).

We had his and Jennifer’s wonderful 2007 Anderson Valley Pinot with dinner. Yum! Another high school friend of Brian’s and mine, Julie, provided the bottle. (Sadly, I cannot –yet– get the wine in Switzerland.)

My Dad, in particular, loved that Waits-Mast Pinot. He and Julie may even have had a bit too much of it, to judge by their faintly giddy and giggly demeanor in the attached photo. But hey, Nihil in moderatione, right?”

Sande’s Thanksgiving with the 2006 Waits-Mast Pinot Noir, Hein Vineyard (Anderson Valley)

“Of course our wine for the evening was Waits-Mast. It was actually fairly simple, turkey breast, stove top stuffing and asparagus. However the sauce Anders [the Swedish chef] made was killer and went so perfectly with the wine it was unreal…almost spicy. I’ll ask him about the sauce when he wakes up because that was the key. FYI, I also had the wine with turtle pie for dessert…no kidding. Stay tuned. Christmas should be better.”

Sarah’s Thanksgiving with the 2007 Waits-Mast from La Encantada Vineyard, Sta. Rita Hills

Aftermath of Sarah's Thanksgiving

“We poured (and drank) two bottles of 2007 Pinot Noir, La Encantada Vineyard, Santa Rita Hills to enjoy with our bourbon roasted turkey, pear chanterelle stuffing, and acorn squash with apple (don’t forget the cranberry-orange and red onion w/ bourbon jam – bernard).

This is probably our favorite wine right now,  perhaps because we’re especially fond of Santa Barbara pinots.”

Thanks to all of our friends for sharing their Thanksgiving stories with us. It’s always gratifying to hear how people have enjoyed our wine, especially amongst friends and family.


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[…] we wrapped up our vineyard tour, so we’re looking forward to sharing it with our family on Thanksgiving. Vineyard-owner crafted jam has become a holiday tradition for us ever since we first got a hold of […]

Pingback by 2010 Vineyard Profile: Oppenlander Vineyard, Mendocino County « ValleyFogBlog

[…] family and friends for Thanksgiving or during the winter holidays, we’d love to hear your stories (and see your photos) documenting what you drank and what you paired it with. We’ll feature a […]

Pingback by Holiday Shipping Deadlines for Waits-Mast Wines « ValleyFogBlog

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