Posted on November 22, 2013

Thanksgiving Cheer

The Holidays are upon us, and it is that time of the year that brings back warm memories of past Holidays. My sense of smell has diminished over time, but I can still imagine the smell in the house when my mother was bouncing from place to place in the kitchen preparing the Thanksgiving feast.

A turkey from a neighbor’s ranch, vegetables from the garden saved for the occasion, and fresh bread baking in the second oven.

Some members of the family were coming down to the ranch that afternoon-including a clutch of cousins.

I often helped with the preparations by plucking the turkey (a job I am glad I no longer have), washing the vegetables and then peeling them if no other help was available. The kitchen at the ranch was not large, and you had to be careful to stay out of Mom’s way.

One of the tricks I learned I still use to roast turkeys today (and on chickens as well). I make a mixture of finely chopped onions, garlic, herb and spices, and mushrooms in warm olive oil and butter. I use thyme, tarragon, and a touch of cinnamon for flavoring.    I then loosen the skin on the bird’s breast and spread the mixture between the skin and the breast meat.  It permeates the bird’s breast, and to some extent the whole bird.  Lately, I like basting the bird with VinSanté Sauvignon Blanc to keep it nice and moist.

There are many differing ideas of what wine goes best with Thanksgiving turkey, from a spicy light white, a full bodied red or anything in between. We still drink some fine wine with the feast and over the years we’ve experienced a variety. Truth be told, most have worked well. There are so many different dishes at Thanksgiving and so many ways to prepare your meal, personal preference should be your guide. VinSanté Sauvignon Blanc and the Syrah Zinfandel are both delicious with most any of the traditional holiday dishes and certainly make the meal more tasty and enjoyable.  The white VinSanté with its’ bright lemon and apricot flavors goes well with the turkey white meats, while the upfront berry flavors and soft tannins as it flows to the back of the mouth make the red VinSanté brighten the darker turkey meats.  We often serve both white and red wines at Thanksgiving, usually a Sauvignon Blanc and a Pinot Noir.  There are so many different tastes in the side dishes; the VinSanté or your choice of wine will make your Thanksgiving meal one of sheer delight.

One of the great joys I now have is the fact I can drink VinSanté while I am cooking and not end up any worse for wear.

Cheers and have a great Thanksgiving!


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