Thanksgiving with Cranberries and Clairet

Can you imagine Thanksgiving dinner without cranberries? I cannot! The sweet and tart taste of traditional cranberry sauce brightens the Thanksgiving meal. In a recent conversation with The Wine Feed owners, the discussion turned to whether one should match the wine served at Thanksgiving to the turkey or the cranberry sauce. Frankly, I had never thought about that before and had assumed the wine pairing would be done with the meat. Funny how quickly we can get stuck in a rut!

I realized if I had to choose between not having turkey or cranberry sauce at a Thanksgiving meal I would most likely forgo the turkey before the cranberry sauce! Given this scenario I decided I should pair my Thanksgiving meal based on a wine complementary to cranberry sauce.

After a taste test, I chose the Château de Parenchère – Bordeaux Clairet – 2009 offered by The Wine Feed. Not only was this wine superb with turkey and cranberry sauce it was delightful with one of my favorite Thanksgiving desserts, Cranberry Walnut Torte! This cake is not overly sweet and uses fresh or frozen cranberries to add the tartness we all love from the red fruit of the bogs of North America. The protected style of Bordeaux Clairet is very similar to the wine the English so loved in the 18th century. A light, voluptuous, fresh and very aromatic wine made for consumption within a few years. Not quite a red wine, but far darker than a typical rosé, the Château de Parenchère Bordeaux Clairet has a rich and stimulating bouquet of strawberry, red currant, and roses.

Enjoy this Cranberry Walnut Torte recipe from The Gardener’s Kitchen accompanied with Clairet for your Thanksgiving table from The Wine Feed and be confident that you and your family and guests will be more than grateful for the bounty of this Thanksgiving meal.

Cranberry Walnut Torte

2 cups walnuts, finely chopped

2 tablespoons butter, melted

2 tablespoons sugar

1 cup sugar

¾ cup flour

½ cup melted butter

2 eggs

1 ½ teaspoon almond extract

8 ounce fresh cranberries

½ cup coarsely chopped walnuts

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit
  2. Combine chopped walnuts, melted butter and sugar.
  3. Press nut mixture over bottom and halfway up the sides of 10 inch springform pan.
  4. Prepare the filling as follows:
  5. Combine flour and sugar in a bowl and reserve.
  6. Using whisk or whisk attachment in mixer or food processor, combine butter, eggs and almond extract.
  7. Mix in flour and sugar till well blended and mixture is light and fluffy.
  8. Fold in cranberries and walnuts.
  9. Pour cake mixture into crust.
  10. Bake about 1 hour until toothpick or small metal skewer comes out clean when poked into center of cake.
  11. Remove from the oven and place on a cooling rack.
  12. When cool sprinkle with 10 x powdered sugar.
  13. Serve with fresh whipped cream!

Makes 8 servings

Serve with Château de Parenchère – Bordeaux Clairet – 2009 available at The Wine Feed.