Thanksgiving is all about family. Klaus is no different although the circumstances of his father’s visit from Germany are quite a surprise!
Klaus’s father had a dinner in mind with his favorite ingredients and his favorite son, Klaus. They planned to enjoy a vast platter of smoked and braised meats. Sauerkraut, roasted apples and onions cooked beyond soft. The wines and spirits would flow and all good in Klaus and his father’s universe.
The meal would begin with slices of Weisswurst served with the most German of aperitifs, Vermouth. Klaus is rather fond of the Bittersweet Vermouth from Oregon named Imbue. He thinks that the combination of citrus, pine needle sap, spicy earth and flavors of the forest floor are quite beguiling. Vermouth comes from all over Europe, but Imbue is a taste of Oregon. Imbue is made of Willamette Valley Pinot Gris wine aged in oak barrels along with local herbs. Klaus is very fond of how a glass of chilled Imbue Vermouth speeds up his hunger. Klaus is also very fond of a new brand of Vermouth named Uncouth. This lovely little gem is right up Klaus’s alley. He’s that kind of little guy. He’s sort of uncouth, but very well spoken. Right Klaus?
An alternative aperitif would be a glass of Dolin Vermouth from France. The blanche or white Vermouth is lightly seasoned, crisp and nearly bone dry. You might add a slice of grilled quince and a splash of sparkling water. I am in love with the Perrier Sparkling Natural Mineral Water in the pink grapefruit essence. It would be fabulous as a low calorie, near-mocktail, a bitter one at that. Because if it’s one thing that Klaus knows is that with the bitter, there always needs to be the sweet.
Lillet makes a gorgeous French Aperitif wine that stimulates the appetite. Klaus is quite fond of the new rose’ offering. Bordeaux wine woven with aromatic herbs. How historic!
During the meal vast draughts of German Beer will flow along with peach pit tinged, tightly wound- Trocken Rieslings. Trocken means dry in German. The best Riesling is produced dry in my opinion. Of course Klaus has a healthy amount of ice-cold peppermint Schnapps filling his little flask tied to his tiny ceramic chest.
Klaus is very fond of the small batch, Indiana distilled, Bardstown, Kentucky bottled- Homestead Barrel Proof Bourbon Whiskey. It is a perfect aperitif to stimulate the hunger in his little ceramic belly!
MMMMM he’s getting warmed right up!
The Germans know a thing or two about ending a meal on a good note. Take the product named Underberg and hold the little paper wrapped bottle in your hand. http://www.smallflower.com/brand/underberg
Although it’s only a small amount of liquid, the healing herbs within aid in digestion with their potent recipe for, “after a good meal.”
Klaus hails from the Black Forest region of Germany. This is a region long accustomed to cold weather, celebrations and great overindulgence. Thanksgiving may not be celebrated in Germany, but there are many opportunities to find that heaping plate of roasted pork, sauerkraut, apples and onions along with copious platters of hand crafted sausages. All this savory cooking can only mean one thing, discomfort from within. The method of imbibing Underberg is quite simple. Gaze at the tiny bottle with your weary eyes. Tear off the paper exposing the little plastic top. Twist it with your fingers and inhale the aroma of freshly picked Alpine herbs along with distilled spirits. I know you are saying that you don’t need any more alcohol, but bear with me; the Klaus’s brethren know what they’re doing here. Inside this tiny 50ml bottle is the veritable fountain of youth. You may not have captured eternal life, but after one or two of these little bottles “after a good meal,” I promise you a cure like no other when your world is rocked by a bit too much to eat and drink!
One of Klaus’s favorite digestives is the Italian digestive named Fernet Branca. Invented as an augmentation for life spent living under duress, Fernet Branca has a most assertive aroma and flavor. It’s herbal, yes- but it goes much further. There is nothing that Klaus likes better than shooting ice-cold shots of Fernet Branca out of a luge carved from of a solid chunk of ice.
If this doesn’t make you thirsty for dessert I don’t know what would.
Klaus’s most favorite dessert wine is the Vin Santo. Vin Santo is the Trebbiano and Malvasia varieties of grapes, let to dry on straw mats then pressed. The flavors are of hazelnuts, stone fruits and sea air. If it is truly season for celebration, then Vin Santo is a lovely choice. Klaus would love a sip right now!
Cheers to good digestion…and a great nap!