How to Serve Wine at Thanksgiving

In the United States, more wine is sold for Thanksgiving dinner than for any other meal. If you are planning to serve wine at your Thanksgiving feast, you will want to be discerning about your selection so that you properly pair the wine with your food. In addition, serving and presenting the wine appropriately will ensure that the wine’s full flavors come through and will add an air of propriety to your gathering. With proper pairing and appropriate presentation, adding wine will boost your Thanksgiving meal a notch or two.

[Edit]Steps
[Edit]Making Your Wine Selection
Remember that “if it grows together, it goes together.” The idea behind this saying is that wines and foods tend to develop together as part of a regional cuisine. For example, white wines, which are typically made in warmer climates, tend to pair well with foods that are grown in a similar climate. Search out wines from climates similar to the native climates of the food that you are serving for Thanksgiving.[1]
Remember, though, that there is no right or wrong wine for any occasion. The best wine is one that you know that your guests will enjoy.
Give your guests options. Because people’s tastes differ, you should consider offering your guests multiple types of wine. At the minimum, have a red and white wine option. You might want to offer a pinot noir and a white zinfandel since they pair well with many traditional Thanksgiving foods. You should also consider serving a dessert wine, such as a sweet riesling.
Depending on how many guests you are hosting, you should have a few bottles in reserve.
Pair a pinot noir with your turkey and side dishes. A low-acid, high-tannin pinot with hints of berry may be a good complement to your turkey. This is especially true considering how often people pair turkey with cranberries. For a great pairing, look for a pinot that comes from the Pacific Northwest or the Great Lakes area.[2]
Be sure to serve pinot noir slightly chilled (50°F/10°C to 55°F/13°C)
Pinot noir can accompany most of your meat dishes.
Serve a riesling or merlot with your ham. If you are serving ham for Thanksgiving, try to find a wine with some fruity tones that also has a hint of sweetness. A sweet riesling, a white zinfandel, or a merlot pair well with honey glazed hams. If you are serving smoked ham, you might want to consider a pinot noir or a zinfandel.[3]
Serve your riesling chilled (48°F/8°C) and your merlot slightly under room temperature (55°F/13°C to 60°F/15°C)
Offer your guests a malbec if you are serving lamb. Because lamb has a less pronounced flavor than other meats, it can be overwhelmed if paired with a full-flavored wine. Try to serve a wine that has a delicate flavor, such as a malbec or a syrah. You should also consider the sauce that you serve with your lamb and pair your wine accordingly.[4]
For a traditional Thanksgiving brown gravy, consider serving a bordeaux or a barbera.
Serve your stronger red wines between 60°F/15°C and 65°F/18°C
Try to serve a sweet white wine. Most chardonnays are too dry to pair well with the variety of flavors that your taste buds will experience on Thanksgiving. However, a white wine with a little sweetness, like a riesling or a Gewurztraminer, can go with the main meal and any desserts. If you serve a white wine, try to find something that is sweet, high-acid or both.[5][Edit]Presenting the Wine
Get some wine glasses. In order to get the best tasting experience from your wine, you will want to consider using glasses of a certain shape. For a white wine, use a glass with a smaller bowl that helps maintain a cool temperature and preserves the wine’s aromas. For a red wine, you will want a glass with a larger bowl that helps deliver the aroma and limits the burn of the alcohol in the wine.[6]
However, if you are not particular about how your wine tastes, you can serve it in any kind of cup you want.
Set the table. When you are setting the table for your Thanksgiving feast, you will want to be sure to place the wine glass to the top right of the dinner plate and next to the water glass. If you want to make sure that your guests get the correct glass for their wine, consider offering your guests wine when they arrive and then allow them to keep their wine glass for dinner. This sign of hospitality will keep you from doing any guess work.[7]
Avoid setting out more than two glasses. Too many drinks can overcrowd your dining area and lead to spills.
Keep your red wine in a decanter. The flavor of most red wines will improve significantly if allowed to sit in a decanter for 30 to 45 minutes. Simply pour the wine that you want to serve in a decanter and let it sit. Cheap red wines, in particular, will benefit from some decanting. In fact, most wines, with the exception of very old wines, will benefit from some decanting.[8]
You can also use an aerator that will decant your wine almost instantaneously.
Use a wine preserver. If you have any leftover wine after your Thanksgiving festivities, you should invest in a wine preserver. This will help preserve the wine’s flavor and aroma. Storing the wine in the fridge and keeping it out of direct sunlight will also help it last longer.[9]
If you have access to one, store your wine in a wine refrigerator.[Edit]Serving the Wine
Cut the foil. For your Thanksgiving dinner, you can simply remove the foil or try to cut it in a way that enhances the visual appeal of the bottle. If you intend to keep the wine on the table, use foil cutters to cut the foil at the top of the lip. This is the method typically used when presenting wine to a group of people where it will be displayed.[10]
Sommeliers tend to cut at the bottom of the lip. This is a tradition that goes back to when the foil was made of lead and sommeliers wanted to keep the metal out of wine.
Remove the cork. There are many methods to opening a bottle of wine. You can use a sommelier knife, a shoe or even a hammer and nails. However, a corkscrew is the most common and the simplest means for opening a bottle and removing the cork. Simply screw the corkscrew into the cork and then pull it out.[11]
Try to place the corkscrew a little off center. This will prevent you from breaking the cork.
Pour a standard wine serving. A standard wine pour is about 5 to 6 ounces (150 to 180ml). If you want to a standard serving every time, measure 5 to 6 ounces of water into a glass, dump the water out, and then pour in wine to where the water was. However, for your Thanksgiving feast, feel free to pour your wine as liberally as you would like.[12]
Twist the bottle away from you to prevent any dripping.
There are usually five 5 to 6-ounce servings in a bottle.[Edit]Related wikiHows
[Edit]References↑ http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/articles/thanksgiving-wine-pairings-drink-american.html

↑ http://www.sunset.com/food-wine/wine-pairings/great-wines-thanksgiving

↑ http://winefolly.com/tutorial/wine-with-ham/

↑ http://winefolly.com/tutorial/wine-with-lamb-steak-red-meat/

↑ http://www.bhg.com/thanksgiving/recipes/thanksgiving-wine-guide/

↑ http://winefolly.com/tutorial/the-importance-of-a-proper-wine-glass/

↑ http://www.etiquettescholar.com/dining_etiquette/table_setting.html

↑ http://winefolly.com/tutorial/basics-serving-wine-glassware/

↑ http://winefolly.com/tutorial/how-long-opened-wine-lasts/

↑ http://winefolly.com/tutorial/basics-serving-wine-glassware/

↑ http://winefolly.com/tutorial/basics-serving-wine-glassware/

↑ http://winefolly.com/tutorial/how-to-pour-wine/

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Today in History for 27th November 2019

Historical Events

1864 – 2nd day of Battles at Waynesboro, Georgia
1885 – 1st photograph of a meteor taken by Austro-Hungarian photographer Ladislaus Weinek in Prague
1941 – Joe DiMaggio is named AL MVP
1961 – Gordie Howe becomes 1st to play in 1,000 NHL games
1977 – “Comedy with Music (Victor Borge)” closes at Imperial NY after 66 performances
2005 – CFL Grey Cup, BC Place, Vancouver: Edmonton Eskimos beat Montreal Alouettes, 38-35; first time in 44 years Grey Cup goes into overtime

More Historical Events »

Famous Birthdays

1801 – Alexander Egorovich Varlamov, composer
1874 – Chaim Weizmann, Israeli statesman (1st President)
1944 – Martin Corbett, English gay rights activist (Gay Liberation Front, OutRage!), born in London (d. 1996)
1952 – Daryl Stuermer, American guitarist (Genesis)
1954 – Kimmy Robertson, American actress best known for her role as Lucy Moran in the TV series Twin Peaks
1970 – Todd Kelly, NFL defensive end (Cin Bengals)

More Famous Birthdays »

Famous Deaths

1198 – Queen Constance of Sicily, wife of Henry VI, Holy Roman Emperor (b. 1154)
1474 – Guillaume Dufay, French/Flemish composer, dies at about 74
1916 – James Cutler Dunn Parker, composer, dies at 88
1973 – Frank Christian, American jazz trumpeter, dies at 86
1988 – Jan Hein Donner, Dutch chess grand master, dies at 61
2008 – V.P. [Vishwanath Pratap] Singh, Indian politician, 7th Prime Minister of India (1989-90), dies at 77

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How to Reduce Stress in Cats

If you’ve noticed changes in your cat’s behavior lately, it’s possible that she’s feeling stressed. What we perceive as stressful and what a cat sees as stressful can be quite different, and it doesn’t take much to disturb her peace of mind. Changes to her routine, a stray in the garden, a new brand of cat litter, an owner going on holiday, or a trip to the vet—all these can potentially trigger an upset. Not only is stress unpleasant for her (and you), but it can also cause health problems by reducing immunity, increasing inflammation, and leading to over-grooming. For these reasons, it’s easy to see why it is important to reduce stress as much as possible for your cat.[1]
[Edit]Steps
[Edit]Detecting Cat Stress Symptoms
Observe changes in urination. Urinary discomfort is a common result of stress in cats. The stress hormones cause the bladder lining to become inflamed, which results in physical symptoms. Keep track of how often your cat visits the tray. Signs of a problem include more frequent urination, discomfort while urinating, and possible blood in the urine.
These signs should never be ignored; always get the cat checked by a vet.[2] This is because bladder inflammation can lead to a blockage, which is a serious, and potentially life-threatening, problem if untreated.
Notice if your cat is over-grooming. Stressed cats tend to over-groom, indeed they can wash so much that they lick bald patches in their coat. Favorite spots to over-groom include the tummy, inner thighs, and front legs. The action of licking releases natural morphine-like substances which help to comfort the cat and make her feel more secure.
Again, get your cat checked by the vet before concluding this is stress-related (allergies and parasites can also cause over-grooming).[3]
Look out for diarrhea. Some cats become so distressed that it upsets their stomachs and they develop diarrhea. Regardless of the causes (stress or an infection), get your cat checked by a veterinarian, because medication may be needed to settle the upset stomach.[4]
Notice if your cat is urinating or defecating outside the litter box. The cat may do this either because she feels too stressed to visit the tray, or in order to spread her scent around the house, which makes her feel more secure.
However, other problems such as arthritis, bladder infections, or stomach upsets can mimic this, so always get your cat’s health checked by the vet.[5]
Decide if your cat is meowing or verbalizing excessively. Some cats become very clingy to their owner and try to attract their attention by talking.[6]
Be aware that restlessness is also a sign of stress. A stressed cat may not be able to settle and may pace restlessly, patrolling her territory on the watch for a perceived threat.[7]
Note if and when your cat withdraws from company. A stressed cat may hide away under a bed or in a dark corner. She is literally hiding, hoping to avoid the attention of what is stressing her.[8]
Keep track of any changes of appetite. Some stressed cats lose their appetite, while others start to eat strange things, like chewing on a towel.[9]
Determine the cause of your cat’s stress. Try to pinpoint when the symptoms started and why. This can help you take action to reduce the source of stress, whether it is physical, environmental, or psychological. Your vet will also want to know when you first noticed the symptoms.[Edit]Reducing Physical Stress in Cats
Take your cat to a veterinarian to see if health troubles exist. Many stress symptoms can also be symptoms of physical illness. You need to know if you’re dealing with a sick cat or a stressed cat (in some cases the former may cause the latter).[10]
Trim claws that have grown painfully long. Sometimes the cause of physical stress is simple to resolve, such as overgrown claws digging into her pads.[11]
Eradicate a flea infestation. Fleas bite the skin and irritate your cat;[12] what’s worse, if ingested they can lead to a tapeworm parasite infection. If your cat is scratching frequently and persistently, perform a simple spot check. Buy a fine-tooth comb and run it through her fur around the base of the neck and tail: if you see small, brown shapes about the size of a pin-head, your cat has fleas. Also look for white or black spots between the teeth of the comb: these are flea eggs and dried blood excreted by the fleas, respectively. If you find fleas, you’ll need to get rid of them on your cat, and in your home.
To eliminate fleas on your cat, consult your veterinarian for recommendations on a flea-control program that’s right for her.
At home, you’ll need to take measures that include: rigorous vacuuming of all your cat’s favorite places, rugs, and upholstery; washing your cat’s bedding weekly; and possibly using a spray, fogger, or powder that is safe (follow product directions carefully and make sure the cat is not in the area if that is specified in the instructions).[13][Edit]Reducing Environmental Stress
Turn down loud music. Cats have sensitive ears that can be hurt by loud music, loud television, or other sources of noise.
Comfort a cat that’s frightened by loud noises outside the house, particularly fireworks or thunderstorms. Take her into an interior room or close the curtains, put the TV or radio on low, and make sure the cat has a “bolt hole” where she can hide until the ordeal is over.[14]
Know when to comfort your cat. Some cats who are bonded to their owner will benefit from companionship and reassurance (such as the cat who bolts under the comforter during a thunderstorm: she gets comfort from the owner’s scent on the bedsheets). However, a truly terrified cat will be too traumatized to accept comfort and will consider human interference a further threat.
As a rule of thumb, if the cat backs away from you, growls, hisses, or swishes her tail, leave her alone. In fact, look for a way to make her bolt hole more secure, such as putting a towel over the box she is hiding in so that the front is screened and she can’t be seen.[15]
Give your cat plenty of safe places in the home. A lack of safe places can also stress a cat. If she feels exposed because there are no high perches where she can safely watch the comings and goings, or no dark cupboards to hide in, this in itself is a stress. All it takes to correct this is the simple provision of a cardboard box in a quiet corner, or a tall tower or scratching post.[16]
Try to maintain a peaceful, stable atmosphere at home. Cats are very sensitive to changes to their environment. While some situations are hard to avoid (like moving apartments), try to provide as calm an atmosphere as you can. Arguing and yelling not only stresses you out, but your cat as well.
If you’re going through transitions at home, be sure to tune in to your cat and take all the measures you can to make it as smooth as possible for her. Always provide a safe place where she can hide.[17]
Don’t yell at your cat. Cats can’t understand the connection between yelling or hitting and something the cat is doing wrong, so trying to discipline a cat this way only makes the cat anxious and afraid.
Instead, use positive reinforcement to encourage good behavior in your cat. Every time she does something “good,” such as using the scratching post, give her a few treats and praise her verbally. The trick to doing this is that the reward must be immediate: cats have short attention spans, so if the reward comes even a few seconds too late, your cat may not understand what it’s for.[18][Edit]Reducing Psychological Stress
Give your cat a sufficient amount of “challenging play.” Provide your cat with as many opportunities as possible to burn energy doing cat-like things such as hunting or playing. This is especially important for indoor cats, who may lack the mental stimulation that outdoor prowling provides. Getting the cat moderately tired out also helps to use up her nervous energy and to vent stress hormones in physical activity rather than over-grooming.[19]
Hide treats or dry food around the house and let her hunt for them.
Have at least three 10-minutes sessions of one-on-one play with your cat. Dangle something enticing for it to chase or toss toys across the room. Cats love to chase and pounce.
If you own more than one cat, make sure you play with each cat alone every day in addition to group playtime.
Leave toys out your cat. Acquire a wide variety of toys, but only put a couple within reach of the cat at one time. Every few days pick up the toys you’ve made available to the cat and put down a couple of new ones.
Provide other entertainment options. Consider locating a bird feeder outside a window for your cat’s entertainment, or get an aquarium so your cat can watch the fish swimming.
Reduce competition in households with multiple cats. If you have more than one cat, they may be vying for food, water, toilet space, and attention. The pressure for resources can leave some cats feeling bullied. To make this less stressful, ensure that each cat has its needs provided for.[20]
There should be one litter box per cat, plus one spare, to decrease competition for toilet facilities.[21] Be sure to keep the litter boxes clean, removing solid waste daily and regularly cleaning the box out with mild dish soap or a solution of bleach in water (1:30 ratio).
Place multiple food bowls around the house, so that no one cat can monopolize the food at all times.[22]
Discourage stray visitors. A stray in your garden, or even your home (they can enter by cat door!) can make your cat feel psychologically threatened.
Discourage visits from a stray by removing any food that might be attracting him.
If your cat goes outside, consider installing a microchip-activated cat flap so the stray cannot come indoors.
If the stressed cat can see the stray in the garden, it may help to block the lower part of the window to obscure that view (the cat equivalent of hiding your head in the sand, but it works).[23][Edit]Helping Your Cat Relearn to Feel Relaxed
Consider using feline pheromones to help your cat feel happy. A nursing queen (female cat) gives off pheromones (chemical messengers) which makes her kittens feel safe and content. A synthetic version of these pheromones has been manufactured and sold as Feliway.
Use the spray Feliway by spritzing bedding, or entrance and exit points so as to amplify ownership by the resident cat.
Alternatively, buy a Feliway diffuser. The diffuser plugs into an electrical socket and gives off a low level of the pheromone into the air (it is not detectable by humans!). Ideally, plug the diffuser into an electrical socket in the room your stressed cat spends the most time. The effect builds up gradually, so don’t expect immediate results, but after a couple of weeks the cat should feel safer and more reassured. (Each diffuser lasts for approximately four weeks and refills are available.)[24]
Try giving your cat Zylkene. Zylkene is a nutraceutical, which is a food supplement that has a pharmaceutical-like action on the body. Because nutraceuticals are not drugs, they are much safer and rarely have side effects. The active ingredient in Zylkene is derived from milk protein and it acts on the same part of the brain as diazepam. This calms the cat and removes some of her anxiety.
Zylkene is available without prescription and comes in 75 mg capsules. The dose for a cat is a 75 mg capsule once a day, given with or after food. It can take a couple of days to take effect, but if there is no noticeable difference after seven days, it is unlikely to help your cat.[25]
Talk to your vet about medicine that can help manage stress. If your cat is so stressed that she is becoming ill, then your vet might prescribe a medication to help her over this rough patch. Different pharmaceuticals are available; the most commonly used are diazepam, amitriptyline, and fluoxetine.
None of these drugs are licensed for use in the cat because the manufacturer has not paid to put them through efficacy trials. However, there are considerable banks of data about their safe use in cats, which your veterinarian will discuss with you if she considers this the best course of treatment.[26][27][Edit]Warnings
The advice in this article is not meant to replace professional advice from a veterinarian. Always talk to your vet if you notice physical and/or behavioral changes in your cat.[Edit]Related wikiHows
Reduce and Cope With Stress
Know if a Cat Is Stressed[Edit]References
[Edit]Quick Summary↑ Cat Behaviour Explained. Peter Neville. Publisher: Parragon.

↑ Feline Behaviour: A Guide for Veterinarians. Bonnie Beaver. Publisher: Saunders. 2nd edition.

↑ Feline Behaviour: A Guide for Veterinarians. Bonnie Beaver. Publisher: Saunders. 2nd edition.

↑ Feline Behaviour: A Guide for Veterinarians. Bonnie Beaver. Publisher: Saunders. 2nd edition.

↑ Feline Behaviour: A Guide for Veterinarians. Bonnie Beaver. Publisher: Saunders. 2nd edition.

↑ Feline Behaviour: A Guide for Veterinarians. Bonnie Beaver. Publisher: Saunders. 2nd edition.

↑ Feline Behaviour: A Guide for Veterinarians. Bonnie Beaver. Publisher: Saunders. 2nd edition.

↑ Feline Behaviour: A Guide for Veterinarians. Bonnie Beaver. Publisher: Saunders. 2nd edition.

↑ Feline Behaviour: A Guide for Veterinarians. Bonnie Beaver. Publisher: Saunders. 2nd edition.

↑ Cat Behaviour Explained. Peter Neville. Publisher: Parragon.

↑ Cat Behaviour Explained. Peter Neville. Publisher: Parragon.

↑ Cat Behaviour Explained. Peter Neville. Publisher: Parragon.

↑ https://www.aspca.org/pet-care/cat-care/fleas

↑ Cat Behaviour Explained. Peter Neville. Publisher: Parragon.

↑ Cat Behaviour Explained. Peter Neville. Publisher: Parragon.

↑ Cat Behaviour Explained. Peter Neville. Publisher: Parragon.

↑ Cat Behaviour Explained. Peter Neville. Publisher: Parragon.

↑ http://www.humanesociety.org/animals/cats/tips/training_your_cat_positive_reinforcement.html

↑ Cat Behaviour Explained. Peter Neville. Publisher: Parragon.

↑ Cat Behaviour Explained. Peter Neville. Publisher: Parragon.

↑ Cat Behaviour Explained. Peter Neville. Publisher: Parragon.

↑ Cat Behaviour Explained. Peter Neville. Publisher: Parragon.

↑ Cat Behaviour Explained. Peter Neville. Publisher: Parragon.

↑ Feline Behaviour: A Guide for Veterinarians. Bonnie Beaver. Publisher: Saunders. 2nd edition.

↑ Feline Behaviour: A Guide for Veterinarians. Bonnie Beaver. Publisher: Saunders. 2nd edition.

↑ Plumb’s Veterinary Drug Handbook. Donald Plumb. PharmaVet

↑ Feline Behaviour: A Guide for Veterinarians. Bonnie Beaver. Publisher: Saunders. 2nd edition.

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