Friday, November 9, 2012

Thanksgiving Season Finds Romance Alive and Well

It’s late enough in the year to reflect on the things that impressed or changed us—to share what we’re grateful for. For those of us who cherish romance, this story is for you. It involves white wine, best bottles of vino to bring to your Thanksgiving dinner, tapas that are perfect for small gatherings—and last but not least, the most creative idea you’ve ever heard for popping the question.

The story begins in two states: Missouri and Kentucky—and the loveliest thing of all: it proves what a small, snug little world this is—how coincidental! A young couple in Louisville wanted to get married, so before he (we’ll call him Ben) proposed, he made sure he plumbed his Missouri roots for the most creative and romantic way to do so. Ben knew his girlfriend (we’ll call her Kathleen) loved relics from the 1940s, kitchen items like Fiestaware and aprons; these made him remember the feed sacks his Grandma owned, and how she’d always used them to make her children’s clothes.

To Ben’s happy surprise, you could buy stacks of those same vintage feed sacks on ebay. He had the idea of buying some for every woman in the family: grandmas, moms, sister-in-laws, and most of all Kathleen, the woman he planned to marry. Little did he know those ebay bids would fall straight into the hands of Jeanette Otte, a close friend of his grandmother’s who lived a state away, in Ste. Genevieve, MO.

Jeanette was incredibly surprised to receive on offer from a man she’d watched grow up. He bought a stack of feed sacks that had been sitting in her mother’s cedar chest for over sixty years—prints her mom must have dried her hands on a hundred times, and maybe Ben’s grandma did too, as the ladies had played cards in each other’s kitchens years ago.

So to make a long story short, Ben didn’t just buy the feedsacks and call it a day. He took them to a seamstress and had them made into aprons that could have graced the set of Mad Men. He had just one of those aprons embroidered with “will you marry me”—and we understand that  quite a fun little party surrounded the opening of that gift.  Here's Kathleen, proudly wearing her apron.

We know they didn’t serve Warm Olives with Fennel and Orange that day, but are nevertheless advocating that appy, as it’s a smashingly good bite to eat at a small and intimate affair—besides that, we got ourselves a new zester and we’re desperate to use it on a really big orange! You might also consider Quick Crab and Goat Cheese Empanadas for your next cozy soiree.  Pictured here: A stop at Whole Foods to pick up some wine for Thanksgiving, we also dilly-dallied at the olive bar and bought these babies.

We picked from this Top 10 list of Thanksgiving wines and settled on bullets 2 and 6:

• NV Domaine Ste Michelle Blanc de Blancs ($12)
• NV Adami Garbèl Prosecco ($15)
• 2010 Château Guiot ($11)
• 2010 Domaine de la Mordorée ($15)
• 2010 Acrobat Pinot Gris ($17)
• 2011 Allan Scott Sauvignon Blanc ($16)
• 2009 Bodegas Montecillo Verdemar Albariño ($14)
• 2010 Heron Pinot Noir ($13)
• 2008 Ruffino Il Ducale ($18)
• 2008 Seven Terraces Pinot Noir ($20)

So many of these spirits leave behind a delightsome grapey taste—as if every sip were packed with sweet fruit; their descriptions by the sommelier contain more notes than a symphony: dried herbs, rich tobacco, svelte, firm, or like sweet chocolate cherries growing in the foothills of France’s Pyrenees.  Just remember this holiday season, that life can be just as sweet, as we toast to brand new couples like Ben and Kathleen, or clink glasses with the loves we’ve known 100 years. Be grateful this Thanksgiving. Romance and good food and drink…it’s all alive and well!    

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