Last Minute Ideas

Two days before the great turkey shimmies down your chimney to leave gifts, toys and….wait a minute, wait just a minute…whoa, holy holiday overload! Working the last three months to prepare for the next five weeks must be getting to me a little–same with some of you I’m sure. Though the big bird won’t be sliding down the chimney, he will sure be getting in the fire one way or the other on Thursday. We’re going with the oil-less turkey fryer, or infrared method, for one our birds, and the other is getting butterflied, then tossed on the grill. We have done birds in the regular turkey fryer in the past, but what a mess you’re left with and then you have 25 pounds of turkey fat diluted oil that I have no use for…infrared is the way to go. I also find that when you cut out the backbone, spread out the bird and place it over the dressing, the results speak (taste) for themselves and it cuts down on the cooking time by about thirty percent! Plus it leaves the oven available for the other 20 dishes we’re preparing for our dozen or so guests.

Turkey and wineLater today I will be making a run to my local ABC to grab a case or so of wine for Wednesday and Thursday…what they are, I haven’t yet decided. I guess the easy, or typical, would be Pinot Noirs and white Burgundies, which are always good choices. This year I am thinking of going with the Nestor Greco di Tufo from Tenuta Cavalier Pepe ($18) and for the red wine, a wonderful Barbera d’Asti from Pavia, La Marescialla ($27). This delicious red wine from the Piedmont region of Italy is just over the top with rich, ripe flavors of plums and blueberries and black fruits. It is not a wine that is going to overwhelm the holiday meal; it is really a perfect complement to the entire table. If you have not had a chance to enjoy the Greco di Tufo from Cavalier Pepe, this would be a good time give it a try. A flavorful wine with notes of mineral and citrus, fresh and aromatic with a very long, intense finish. A terrific wine to drink while you’re preparing the meal, as well as serving with your Thanksgiving dinner.

If you have already picked out your wines, then give these a try another time, but if you are a last minute shopper like so many others, then I highly recommend these two Italian beauties. Either way, I hope you enjoy a wonderful Thanksgiving Day with those family and friends that mean the most to you.

Ken Amendola, ABC Fine Wine & Spirits wine supervisor

Follow me on Twitter @abcwinekena

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