Handwritten 2020 Thanksgiving Wines + Braised Duck Leg Cassoulet Recipe

The Thanksgiving holiday is for sharing a seasonal splendor of festive foods together with magnificent wines. Our Thanksgiving Wine Packages from Handwritten & Jessup Cellars offer the ultimate gift giving experience, ensuring that everyone around the table has something special to savor.

You may also share the wine country experience with our elevated virtual wine tasting events, the perfect way to stay in touch if you can’t get together with family and friends. Our virtual tastings are also a great way to treat your hard-working team or VIP clientele with our comparative tasting or a custom curation of wines to enjoy with any occasion over the holiday season.

Our Handwritten Thanksgiving Wine Package will transport you to the rolling hillsides of California wine country with our 2019 ‘Author’ Sauvignon Blanc, 2015 Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir and ‘Colheita’ 10-year Tawny Dessert Wine.  

2019 ‘Author’ Sauvignon Blanc

This ultra-crisp and refreshing Napa Valley favorite is grown on an idyllic hillside in Napa’s best keep secret area of Wooden Valley. This exceptional white sings with fresh citrus zest, ripe stone fruit and key lime pie. Fermentation and aging in our concrete egg wine tank provide a richer mouthfeel along with fullness and depth that cannot be achieved in stainless steel vats. Enjoy on a long fall night surrounded by family and delicious food.

2015 Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir

This holiday season everyone deserves a pouring of divine wine. That is why we’ve unlocked the Handwritten cellar and granted you and your guests access to our Handwritten Wines Library collection including our 2015 Handwritten Pinot Noir. Winemaker Rob Lloyd creates this ‘Cab Lovers’ Pinot Noir from Santa Barbara County’s famed Sta. Rita Hills District. This back-vintage bottling provides a multi-layered and complex expression of Pinot Noir that pairs especially well with holiday specialties from turkey to smoky slow-braised duck cassoulet.

‘Colheita’ 10-year Tawny Dessert Wine

For a luxurious pairing with decadent cheeses and sweet holiday desserts, uncork our Handwritten ‘Colheita’ 10-Year Tawny Wine. Colheita, in Portuguese means harvest and signifies a Port that has been aged in barrel for at least seven and a half years. Our Colheita Tawny captures a moment in time and tells a story of Handwritten’s commitment to crafting high end Cabernet Sauvignon from every vintage. Complex aromas and flavors of caramel, cocoa and coffee make for a gorgeous after-dinner wine pairing.

To find out more information and to order your Thanksgiving Wine Package give us a call at (707) 944-8524 or explore our online store. For the adventurous, put something magical on the table this Thanksgiving with our Braised Duck Leg Cassoulet courtesy of Handwritten Wines resident Chef Emily Buller.


Braised Duck Leg Cassoulet –– Serves 4


1 pound dried Cannellini beans, soaked overnight

4 duck legs
8 ounces pork sausage
4 ounces pancetta, cut into small cubes 1 smoked ham hock
6 sprigs thyme
6 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
6 carrots, peeled and medium diced
1 large yellow onion, medium diced
1 head celery, medium diced
2 cups chicken or duck stock
2 bay leaves
1⁄2 cups slightly toasted bread crumbs
2 cups red wine
Olive oil
Salt and pepper as needed


  • Leave duck legs unwrapped on baking rack set over a baking tray, in the fridge for 24 hours.
  • Remove duck 1 hour prior to cooking and season generously with salt and pepper on both sides.
  • Render duck legs by placing skin side down in a cold cast iron pan with a teaspoon olive oil. Increase to a high heat and bring the pan up to rapid sear until skin is dark golden-brown and duck skin fat has rendered. Flip the duck leg carefully to brown the opposite side, be careful for spitting fat.
  • Remove legs and place skin side up in a dutch oven pot or deep casserole dish. Leave any rendered duck fat from the skin in the pan and add the carrots, celery, and onions and sauté until caramelized. Place the vegetables in the pot with the duck legs. Add red wine to the pan and scrape the bottom of the cast iron pan to get all the “browned bits”. Pour over the duck legs and vegetables. Add stock, thyme, parsley, bay leaves and garlic.
  • Cover the baking dish or pot and place in a 350 degree oven. Cook covered for 1 1⁄2 hours. In a stock pot, brown the pancetta and sausages. Remove the browned sausages and set aside.
  • Drain the beans and place them in the stock pot with pancetta and ham hock. Cover with water and cook on low heat until slightly tender-about 1 hour. When the beans are slightly tender and the duck legs are finished cooking, remove duck legs and strain the braising liquid and save to the side. Strain the beans, pancetta and ham hock, discarding liquid.
  • Slice sausages and pull the meat off the ham hock. Return the legs and the braising liquid to the cooking pot and add the beans, sausages, hock meat and pancetta. Add a couple of pinches of salt and some fresh cracked black pepper. Make sure the legs are skin side up.
  • Coat with bread crumbs and place uncovered in a 375 degree oven for 30-45 minutes. Beans will now be very tender. Serve either family style out of one big cooking pot or spoon into individual dishes.