Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Thanksgiving Came Early at Bottlerocket

As I shared last week, Bottlerocket Wine & Spirit hosted a free Thanksgiving food and wine tasting featuring ten different wines and the Thanksgiving menu at The City Bakery. Despite not feeling that great thanks to lingering cold symptoms, I met up with my friend Lauren and coworker Julian for the event.

I arrived just before 2pm (the scheduled start time), and there was already a significant crowd of people waiting to drink up and dig in. I did a lap around the shop and made my way back toward the entrance so I could watch out for Lauren and Julian. By that time, a line had begun to form out the door and down the sidewalk. As I waited, I sampled the first wine, a George Gardet Brut "Cuvée Saint Flavy" Champagne (France, $34). Champagne in the afternoon? Yes, please!

What transpired after meeting up with Lauren and Julian was sheer chaos. So many people in such a tiny space! I had wanted to take pictures of the whole experience with my new digital camera (hooray!) but I was too afraid of dropping it, so I saved the picture-taking for the end (see below).

The three us followed the people ahead of us in line and made our way from the champagne at the door to the first station: Heritage Turkey with Traditional Gravy and Stuffing (Multigrain Bread with Mushrooms, Herbs and Aromatic Vegetables). With the turkey, we tried a a Bodega Ruca Malen Chardonnay "Yanqué" 2007 (Argentina, $9), a Jelu Pinot Noir 2006 (Argentina, $15), and a Ridge Geysterville 2006 (United States/California, $40). With so many people, I felt like I had to chug the wine to keep the line moving, and the flavor of each wine was compromised a bit because we were all told to keep our glasses. One glass for ten wines made for an interesting experience.

After turkey and stuffing came a selection of sides at the second station: Bacon Buttermilk Mashed Potatoes, Roasted Brussels Sprouts, Butternut Squash with Asian Pears and Hazelnuts, and Sweet Potatoes with Grilled Pineapple and Toasted Homemade Marshmallows. Three more wines to try with the side dishes: a Chateau Pontac Monplaisir Pessac-Léognan 2006 (France, $32), a Weingut Matthias Müller Riesling "Bopparder Hamm" Spätlese 2006 (Germany, $23), and a Sur de los Andes Malbec 2007 (Argentina, $12). At this point, we stopped trying to taste every wine and just focused on the food. Turns out, that was a good decision. I absolutely loved the combination of sweet potatoes and grilled pineapple, and was surprised that it didn't taste sweeter than it did. Definitely a new spin on a classic Thanksgiving dish!

When we made it to the back of the shop for dessert, the place looked like this:

Bottlerocket White | Taste As You Go
Bottlerocket White

Bottlerocket Red | Taste As You Go
Bottlerocket Red


Absolute insanity! (And, yes, those are the pictures I took! I can finally start posting real pictures of my culinary adventures!) Anyway, the dessert was fabulous: City Bakery Deep Dish Pumpkin Pie and Gingerbread Men. The gingerbread men were so good, Lauren and I went back for seconds! The three of us stood back, sampled some Marenco Moscato d'Asti 2006 (Italy, $19) and Quinta Do Infantado Reserva Especial Porto (Portugal, $24), and debated whether to go through the line again for more food. I mean, it was really good. Then we debated whether we were warm from all the people or whether we were warm from sampling so many wines in quick succession! Not that we were complaining...

Judging by the number of people who turned up at the wine shop, I'd say Bottlerocket (and The City Bakery) had a successful afternoon. I hope they host a similar event next year! And, if you've decided to get some help in cooking your Thanksgiving meal rather than prepare it yourself, then I highly recommend The City Bakery's Thanksgiving menu. They're taking orders through Saturday, November 22, so don't wait until the last minute to call!

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5 comments:

doggybloggy said...

I passed by the line was longish at 3 and I just turned away...I am glad you went - I think I arrived too late.

Michelle said...

Doggybloggy - I'm sorry you missed it! We probably left around 3, so we must have just missed bumping into one another on the sidewalk. Had we arrived later than we did, we probably would have skipped it, too.

Sue said...

That was all free? That's amazing. What a wonderful event. I am mucho impressed that you kept track of everything you ate AND drank. That must have been a feat.

Michelle said...

Sue - It really was! Don't give too much credit about keeping track of what we ate and drank. We all got a "wine menu" when we got to the champagne station, so I really only had to keep track of the food. ;-)

How do you like those photos? I finally got a new digital camera!!

Sue said...

The pictures look great. And people like pictures...