November is upon us! This is the time of year when you have the opportunity to sit down at a harvest table with family and friends and express your gratitude with a bountiful celebration of food and wine.
Few meals can surpass the traditional Thanksgiving feast of a perfectly roasted turkey, buttery mashed potatoes, savory cornbread dressing or bread stuffing, rich gravy, fresh sautéed garlicky green beans, and cranberry orange sauce made from fresh New England cranberries. For most people, just the thought of Thanksgiving means roasted turkey and equates to warm feelings of family celebration and joy.
Although this is not a complex meal to prepare, the critical factors between a great Thanksgiving meal and a good one in my experience are:
- How fresh are your ingredients?
- What techniques do you use to cook your turkey and vegetables?
- What wine will you serve to complement your meal of gratitude?
Acquiring fresh and local ingredients should be high on your list of preparations for this meal. When you purchase fresh and local ingredients talk to the farmer about how he grew and produced your turkey, beans, potatoes, and other vegetables. You might find an opportunity to express your gratitude for such wonderful, healthy food to bring to your family and friends. Searching to find these types of products for your Thanksgiving dinner is not quite like hunting for wild turkey but close enough to eventually bring gratitude to you from friends and family, as they taste the huge difference in fresh food versus food that has been frozen and shipped over thousands of miles.
As for preparation and cooking techniques to use that will make your meal memorable, keep these experts’ advice in mind:
Last but not least! Which wine will complement your meal? Recently I cooked a traditional Thanksgiving meal to test a group of wines selected by The Wine Feed. My favorite was a lovely white wine in a Riesling style bottle called Gramona “Gessami” 2010 from the Penedes region of northeast Spain. The Penedes region is located near Barcelona not far from the Mediterranean coast. This wine region is best known for Cava, the Spanish sparkling wine, but also produces excellent still white and red wines. Gessami is a blend of 50% Muscat d’Alexandria, 20% Muscat Frontignan, 25% Sauvignon Blanc and 5% Gewurztraminer.
Gramona Gessami is a mellow straw-yellow in color with a wonderfully aromatic nose of apricots, pears, citrus, jasmine and mineral notes. Light medium in body with bright acidity, the wine offers clean fruit flavors of pears, peaches, and spice, with no oak. The wine is well balanced, long and smooth on the finish, with some lingering floral notes. This is a wine to drink young.