Thanksgiving is a time for family and reflection of the year past and the year to come. We at Maryland Forward are very grateful for all that you have done this past year and will do next year and so we've prepared a very special blog with some suggestions for Thanksgiving wines and a very special turkey recipe that has stood the test of time for 52 years. We hope you enjoy and are we hope for success in becoming a recognized political party next year with your help!
The Thanksgiving holiday started as a celebration of the harvest and sharing it in a festive meal. In that spirit of sharing the Maryland Forward Party would like to share a recommendation on 45 different wines that pair well with turkey and a very proven recipe for roast turkey. One of our volunteers, Bill Stewart, does a blog on wine, food, and travel as a hobby, and he put together the wine recommendations and the roast turkey recipe that are available here for download.
Thanksgiving is coming in less than two weeks. What wine(s) do you plan to serve with your Thanksgiving dinner this year? Have you bought them yet? There are lots of alternatives. Here are Bill’s wine recommendations.
Most people associate poultry with white wine, following the white meat – white wine guidance. But this is not a rule, and turkey does have delicious dark meat as well. Bill’s recommendations start with three white wines: Chardonnay, Pinot Gris, and Riesling. He is also recommending you consider a dry Rose and/or a medium bodied Pinot Noir. Both also pair very well with turkey. The prices shown in the attachment are rough averages of what the larger online stores are selling them for. There can certainly be a variation of a few dollars, depending on what store you pick. Taxes and shipping, if ordering online, are additional.
One question Bill frequently get when he recommends wines is, “Where can we find them.” Unless your local liquor store is a very good wine store, they probably will have only a few of the recommendations in the handout. For those, like Bill, that live in Montgomery County, the choices in the local county run stores are very limited. The largest selection would be in the Total Wine stores in Laurel and Towson, but each of them carry different inventory. You can shop them online to see what they have available and the ones you select can be boxed and ready for you to pick up at the store if you want. Bill did a post on his blog on different ways to find good wines.
One common theme in Bill’s blog posts on wine is that Americans drink their white wine, and rose wine, much too cold and their red wine at too warm a temperature. White wines should be drunk at 60° F. Most refrigerators are at about 48° and taking wine out of the refrigerator and pouring it right away blocks off much of the delightful taste of that white wine. He highly recommends taking white wine out of the refrigerator, opening it, and let it sit on the counter to breathe and open up for 30 minutes before serving it. If you don’t believe him, try this experiment:
- Get two bottles of the same white wine that have been in the refrigerator overnight.
- Open one of them and let it sit on the counter for 30 minutes.
- Then open the second right from the refrigerator.
- Compare the tastes: the first one with have a much richer taste than the second one.
Good red wines served at room temperature are also hiding much of their flavors. Winemakers usually finalize their wine by blending wines from different grapes or using the same grapes but from several properties. The wines have aged in barrels in a cellar which is at 60° F. The winemakers are tasting the wine at that temperature when they finalize their wine. Serving red wines that have had the time to open up and that are at 60° will let you taste what the winemaker wants you to drink. You will get the most flavor out of the Pinot Noir that is the last set of recommended wines below if you open the bottle and let it breathe 3-4 hours before serving and then put it in the refrigerator, open and standing up, for 30 minutes to get the wine to 60° F before serving it. Try the same kind of experiment with a red wine to see how big a difference it will make.
Also available for download is Bill’s recipe for roast turkey. Bill and Beth were married in 1971 when he was a grad student at Columbia and she was entering the Navy Nurse Corps. She was on duty on their first Thanksgiving Day, so Bill volunteered to cook a turkey instead of going out to eat when she got home from the hospital. The turkey was golden brown, moist, and delicious. At the end of the meal, Beth looked at him and said that she was never roasting a turkey and, 52 years later, she has held firm to that. For the last 16 years Bill has been blessed to have different grandchildren cook the turkey with him, so the recipe and tradition are being handed down.
Here is a link to his blog post on cooking turkey with lots of pictures that may be a good compliment to the recipe if you download it. It also has a link to download a homemade cranberry chutney that is simple and so much better than cranberry jelly out of the can.
All of us in the Forward Party hope the two attachments add to your enjoyment of Thanksgiving and our thanks to Bill for putting this together for us. Bill’s blog is totally free, just a hobby for him, and you may find other posts on wine, food and travel of interest.