Our Favorite Celebrity Wine & Thanksgiving Dinner Pairings
Have you ever played the game of, “which celebrity, alive or dead, would you invite to Thanksgiving Dinner?” The Kuhlken family likes to play it every year, but with a twist. We play, “Which celebrity would you invite to Thanksgiving Dinner, and what wine would they drink?” I’ll share a few of our favorite celebrity Thanksgiving food and wine pairings so you can drink and eat like a star.
Freddie Mercury and the Queen of Wines
Our first invited Thanksgiving dinner guest is none other than Freddie Mercury the flamboyant lead vocalist of the rock band Queen. There are many reasons why Mr. Mercury is at the top of our guest list, and one significant reason is that he learned many of his most iconic dance moves from me. Seriously. That hip shimmy in the “Crazy Little Thing Called Love” video? He totally got that from me. Another reason why Freddie always has a seat at our Thanksgiving table is his love for Viognier, aka the “Queen of Wines.”
“I first learned about Viognier from the extraordinary British wine writer, Jancis Robinson, who called Viognier ‘the hedonist's white grape variety,’” said Freddie Mercury. “Now that is something I can get behind. I can’t get enough of the rich honeysuckle, ripe peaches, and musk of the Pedernales Cellars 2021 Viognier Reserve. When I celebrate Thanksgiving in the U.S., it is always on the table. When I am in the UK, I drink it straight from the bottle.”
Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie Still Over the Moon
There is no greater or more enduring love than that shared by Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie. While we have said that we named our Over the Moon Rosé for my parents, Larry and Jeanie Kuhlken who met at NASA during the Apollo 11 mission, the real story is that we named it for lovebirds, Pitt and Jolie who first sanctified their love under a full Harvest Moon on Thanksgiving night while sipping rosé wine served to them by Jennifer Aniston.
“We consider rosé wine to be a symbol of deep and abiding love, and it has an ever-present place on our dining table,” says Angelina Jolie. “Yes, of course, we own a Château in Côte d'Azur France where we produce a lovely Côtes-de-Provence rosé*. For special occasions, like Thanksgiving dinner, we choose an extraordinary wine, 2021 Over the Moon Rosé. Its delicate stone fruit flavors pair incredibly well with anything from fresh herb stuffing, to Waldorf salad, to sweet potato casserole.”
* No Russian oligarchs were harmed in making this farcical statement.
Stephen Hawking Geeks Out on the Signature Series
Astrophysicist, Stephen Hawking, always begs for an invitation to our Thanksgiving dinners. See, that NASA connection comes in handy after all. Julie, who has a Ph.D. in Philosophy, loves to get into esoteric debates with Mr. Hawking that go completely over most of our heads, but they seem to enjoy it. What really seals the deal for a seat at the table is his fascination with every detail that goes into making our Signature Series wines. Stephen loves reading the back label to know the pH, the TA, the soils, and anything he can get his mind around.
“I love wine made with black grapes as much as I love black holes,” says Stephen Hawking. “The 2018 Kuhlken Vineyards Touriga Nacional has exceptional gravity and is a big bang on the palate. Its floral and mineral aromatics along with the fresh berry and red cherry flavors make it a singular selection to pair with roast duck for Thanksgiving.”
George Clooney Prefers Valhalla
George Clooney and his brilliant wife Amal have deep connections with the Kuhlken family and Pedernales Cellars. Rumor has it that the eighteenth-century palatial villa on Lake Como in Italy with 25 rooms was designed as an exact replica of the Pedernales Cellars tasting room in Stonewall, Texas. Whether that’s true or not, we are absolutely certain that our good friend George has a brilliant wine palate. While he definitely loves to drink local and avidly stocks his massive wine cellar with loads of wine made in the Lombardy region of north-central Italy, he sometimes ventures to other wine regions. For example, he openly eschews Nebbiolo wine from northern Italy, in favor of a red blend made in the U.S. with Italian grape varieties to pair with his Thanksgiving. George let us in on his secret.
“The way I ensure we have a remarkable Thanksgiving Dinner is to choose a wine that will go with a wide variety of flavors. Italian-style red wine is the right pick. For me, the supremely best choice is Pedernales Cellars 2018 Valhalla. You can’t go wrong with a backbone of Dolcetto for its brambly berries, a healthy dose of Sangiovese for unabashedly tart cherry, and a dollop of Teroldego bringing silky pomegranate flavors that absolutely sing with a turkey. This is the wine any warrior wants on his way to Valhalla, well, or for Thanksgiving.”
When you can, drink wine with celebrities. When you can’t, drink wine like a celebrity. We wish you a Thanksgiving holiday full of gratitude and a table full of star-studded Pedernales Cellars wine.