Holiday Pinot Noir Pairings
Herb-Roasted Turkey with Gravy
Pairing: Rich Pinot Noir: 2008 Fiddlehead Cellars Seven Twenty Eight.
The brine here, which is a simple combination of salt, sugar, spices and water, keeps the turkey moist in the oven and seasons the meat perfectly.
Fall Harvest Salad
Pairing: Versatile Pinot Noir: 2009 Castle Rock Sonoma County.
This salad epitomizes fall flavors, with its chunks of butternut squash, pumpkin seeds, pecans and greens. The easiest way to peel the butternut squash is with a sturdy U-peeler (named for its wide, U-shaped handle), which is available at most supermarkets.
Five-Spice Glazed Sweet Potatoes with Walnut Toffee
Pairing: Zesty, blackberry-rich Pinot Noir: 2010 Kenwood Vineyards.
Crunchy toffee stands in for the usual marshmallow topping on these potatoes, which Shawn McClain glazes with brown sugar and spice-scented butter.
Pairing: Monterey Pinot Noir: 2010 La Crema or 2010 J. Lohr Fog’s Reach.
Joanne Chang marinates and bastes the bird with soy, sesame, honey and ginger, giving it superb flavor and a beautiful mahogany color.
Pairing: Ripe, cherry-rich Pinot Noir: 2010 Cooper Mountain Vineyards Reserve.
Shawn McClain says cranberries and quince need a bit of sweetness to taste their best, so he combines them with apples, raisins and sugar, as well as cider vinegar and spices, to make a tangy chutney.
Roast Turkey with Lemon and Chives
Pairing: Bright, berry-rich Pinot Noir: 2010 Jargon.
Grace Parisi blends lemon and chives into a butter that she rubs all over the turkey.
Fig-and-Almond Bread Stuffing with Fennel
Pairing: Energetic, herbal Oregon Pinot Noir: 2010 Benton-Lane.
This stuffing is slightly sweet and fragrant, with plenty of herbs. There’s no meat in it, so it’s a little bit lighter and fresher-tasting than stuffings made with sausage.
Pancetta-Wrapped Roasted Turkey
Pairing: Full-bodied Pinot Noir: 2010 Sanford La Rinconada Vineyard.
After rubbing this turkey with a bold and delicious mix of chile powder, cumin, sugar and herbs, Texas chef Tim Love blankets it with slices of salty, fatty pancetta, resulting in a supermoist and savory bird.
Mole-Spiced Roasted Turkey
Pairing: Spicy, fruit-forward Pinot Noir: 2009 Husch.
The cinnamon, cocoa and chile-powder paste flavors the turkey and produces a wonderful aroma as the bird roasts.
Herbed Turkey Two Ways
Pairing: Russian River Valley Pinot Noir: 2010 J Vineyards or 2010 Freeman.
Bi-Rite owner Sam Mogannam, who always uses a heritage-breed turkey, cooks the white and dark meats separately to prevent the breast from drying out before the tougher leg meat is fully cooked. The method is also successful with conventional birds, plus it cuts the turkey cooking time by two-thirds. Because of this turkey’s large size, salting at least 8 hours before cooking allows the seasoning to fully penetrate.