Thanksgiving Eve Winesday

Happy Thanksgiving-Eve-Winesday! I hope everyone is fortunate enough to be surrounded by loved ones and plenty of food to fill your bellies this Thanksgiving. I will be spending it with Brendan’s rowdy family and neighbors in Pennsylvania where I’ll enjoy good company, good (hard) cider, and lots of good food. Yay! Whatever you’re doing this Thanksgiving, I hope you’re not forgetting to celebrate Winesday.

The menu below comes from last week’s Winesday (which had to be held on Thirstday instead), and it was for just two of us so the portions tend to be a bit smaller (sort of). Amber had wine from a place we had visited in northern Connecticut, and it was begging to be shared with chocolate. That was easy enough to solve. I’d been craving flourless chocolate cake for weeks, and Amber had been craving zucchini parmesan for dinner for days. And so, our mini Winesday was created.

The Wine

I would love to try and resist the urge to brag about Connecticut vineyards since they’re not accessible to everyone who may be reading this, but I just can’t. It’s not even possible not to highlight some of the incredible vineyards and wines we have in the Nutmeg State. There is a wide variety of grapes that can grow in our climate, and that results in a wide variety of dry and sweet wines. Connecticut is also a wonderful place to grow apples, berries, and other fruits so a few wineries here develop their wines from combinations of fruits. This leads to hundreds of different wines that are way too fantastic not to mention. So I do apologize to anyone who can’t get to these places easily, but at least it gives you a reason to visit 😛

  • The wine we enjoyed this past Winesday came from Connecticut Valley Winery, a small winery in Litchfield County that is owned and operated by a father-son team. When we arrived to do a tasting on a warm and beautiful October Sunday, the tasting room was packed with people. We had to wait until the first wave of people cleared out before we could squeeze in at the bar, but it didn’t take long for us to understand why it was so crowded. Every wine was unique, and every wine was incredible. Midnight, the wine we had with our Winesday dinner, was selling out for the season while we were there. It’s an award-winning deep, tart red wine that has a sweet berry finish. Alone, it tends to be a bit too bold, but with any kind of chocolate indulgence, it’s perfect. It’s made from Frontenac grapes, and it’s similar to a Pinot Noir but with less spice. Unfortunately for all of us, this winery won’t be selling the wine again until next season (May) 😦

The Entrée

  • Zucchini Parmesan. The original plan involved another batch of vegetarian chilli, but on a whim, Amber decided she wanted to try zucchini parmesan. The recipe below is her original creation. It’s similar to eggplant parmesan but lighter in taste and less filling (i.e. less fatty).

Stuff You’ll Need

Makes 4 servings

  • 4 medium zucchini, sliced evenly
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • Italian breadcrumbs
  • 1 cup shredded parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 1/2 cup marinara sauce
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • Oregano, basil, salt, pepper
  • Square glass pan
How to Do It
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Mix eggs and milk in a small glass dish, and fill a separate small glass dish with breadcrumbs. Heat oil in a medium-sized frying pan.
  2. Dip slices of zucchini in the milk/egg mixture, and coat them in the breadcrumbs. Immediately place in the hot frying pan, and fry the slices until they’re browned on both sides.
  3. Layer sauce, zucchini slices, cheeses, and spices until you’ve used all the zucchini. Top the dish with additional sauce, cheeses, and spices.
  4. Cover the dish with aluminum foil and bake in the oven for 35-40 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and the zucchini is crisp. Enjoy warm with a fresh spinach salad.

The Dessert

    • Mini flourless chocolate cake. I love chocolate. I knew we had to have chocolate to enjoy with the wine, and I played with the idea of a dark chocolate mousse, chocolate cupcakes, brownies, and finally, flourless chocolate cake. I hadn’t ever attempted to make one before, but I knew from past experiences that it would have the most concentrated chocolate flavor. It’s an incredible indulgence for a relatively easy baking experience. Happy Thanksgiving-eat, drink, and be merry 🙂

Comments

  1. Every time i read your blog i get hungry (sometimes thirtsy). That wine sounds incredible! And you totally reminded me I have an unopened bottle of “Harvest Time” (from another CT vineyard) at home! 🙂

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