Turkey Talk: The Countdown Continues

There is so much involved in putting together the family feast for Thanksgiving Day, and if you’re the host or the person in charge of bringing it all together, it can be stress inducing.

So here’s a timely tip to help take off some pressure — and free up space in your freezer: If you’re serving turkey, determine the size (weight) of the bird that you’ll need, and reserve a fresh one.

In addition to being able to store more of the ingredients that you’ll be using for the feast, you’ll end up with a fresher product. Although the National Turkey Federation says that there is no quality difference between a fresh turkey and a frozen turkey, you will have at least eliminated dealing with the thawing process.

Now also is the time to get your shopping list together, and that means finalizing your menu. What side dishes do you plan to serve?

Here are some of the possibilities, along with the types of wine that pair nicely with them…

* Mashed Potatoes and Gravy — Chardonnay.

* Sweet Potatoes and Marshmallows — A Viura-based white blend from Spain’s Rueda region, or an “unoaked” Chardonnay.

* Traditional Cornbread Stuffing — Merlot.

* Roasted Brussels Sprouts With Lemon Parmesan Dressing — Pinot Grigio.

* Green Bean Casserole (the classic dish made with cream of mushroom soup and topped with crispy onions) — Sauvignon Blanc or Cabernet Franc.

* Roasted Cauliflower With Lemon Zest and Fresh Herbs — Pinot Grigio.

* Roasted Butternut Squash or Butternut Squash Soup — Viognier or Chianti (Sangiovese).

As you can see, it’s easy to complement the go-to Thanksgiving wines — Chardonnay and Pinot Noir — with some other selections, effectively creating a food-and-wine smorgasbord.

And knowing which wines pair with which sides should also help you complete your holiday feast shopping list.

Posted in Food and Wine Pairings/Recipes
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