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Wine Pairing Recommendations for Thanksgiving

We want to  thank our market sponsor, The Bottle Shop, for giving us great wine & food pairing recommendations. These wines go with our vendors’ Thanksgiving products and our Thanksgiving Recipes.  All wines are available for purchase at The Bottle Shop.

Big Fire Pinot Gris 2010 – This Pinot Gris is great with turkey. It is rich enough to handle garlic, onions, and herbs. The citrus and peach notes refresh the palate between the many flavorful, high-fat dishes, making it a natural for the demands of Thanksgiving Day. Big Fire Oregon Pinot Gris opens up with white peach, apple and Seville orange zest. In the middle there are notes of Tangelo, spice and an herbal note. The finish is pure lime and flint. $18.00

Alvarez de Toledo Godello – Such a deal, this lovely Spanish white was rated 90 points by Robert Parker, Jr. This unoaked beauty delivers a lovely perfume of baking spices, melon, peaches, and minerals. Round, spicy, and pleasure-bent, this smooth-textured, impeccably balanced effort over-delivers in a very big way. This should be an interesting new Thanksgiving wine. $13.00

Hook & Ladder Chardonnay – This Chardonnay is from a vineyard situated in Sonoma County’s Russian River Valley, where vineyards produce cool climate grapes widely recognized as some of the finest in the world. Fermented 100% in French oak barrels, 75% of wine goes through a malolactic fermentation that naturally creates a light buttery flavor and smooth mouth feel. While on its lees, the wine is hand stirred to develop additional complexity of flavors and aromas. This Chardonnay is made in the style that put California Chardonnay on the map. It is buttery and oaky but nicely balanced, not over the top. A slight minerality complements the crisp green apple finish. $20.00

Robert Oatley Gewürztraminer 2010 – This single vineyard, mature Gewurztraminer vines were planted in Mudgee Australia by the Oatley family in 2000. The wine is alluring, textured and dry. It received a 90 point rating by both Wine Spectator and Robert Parker who said, “This wine bursts from the glass with smack-you-in-the-face Gewürz aromas of roses, ginger and lychee, and doesn’t let up on the palate. It’s full and a bit viscous without getting blowsy, with lingering spice notes on the finish. Drink now.” Gewurztraminer has long been a Thanksgiving favorite because it is rich enough to pair with turkey, and the spicy notes work with the Thanksgiving side dishes. $18.00

Dr. L Riesling – Riesling wines are a top pick white wine for pairing with Thanksgiving dinner. Riesling’s innate flavors of apple, apricot, honey, and its clarifying acidity give it a significant pairing edge with the likes of sweet potatoes, turkey meat, and spice-laden or herb-filled stuffing. This wine comes exclusively from traditional vineyards with steep slopes and slate soil, and embodies the elegant and racy style of classic Mosel Riesling. By working closely with growers on long-term contract, brothers Ernst and Thomas Loosen are able to assure excellent quality in every vintage. The soft sweetness of Riesling is an excellent complement to the saltiness of a smoked turkey, the acidity makes it friendly to all foods. $14.00

2011 Manoir du Carra, Beaujolais Nouveau – Just barely three weeks old, this fresh fruity red from the granite hills of Beaujolais comes entirely from Gamay grapes. Beaujolais Nouveau is released each year in mid November and is a celebration of harvest and a festive event. This bistro style wine should be consumed in copious quantities in the first full year of its life. The cranberry aromas and flavors are a natural match for traditional Thanksgiving fare. $13.00

Roncier (Pinot Noir) – The label is intriguingly vague but the grapes for this delicious wine are grown in the Mercurey appellation in Burgundy. This brand has been produced by Maison L. Tramier for decades and enjoyed in Europe as an everyday table wine. On the nose are floral aromas of cherry and red fruits, with a round palate of dark cherry and forest floor flavors and a lovely Pinot Noir finish. If you have been looking for a consistent, delicious wine for everyday drinking with true Burgundian character, your search is over.  A winner with beef or turkey, you can also pair this with polenta and mushroom ragout or grilled salmon. $13.00

Grand Veneur Côtes du Rhône Rouge, Les Champauvins – Grand Veneur has been heralded as one of the most brilliant estates in Chateauneuf du Pape. Always a particular favorite of Robert Parker he rates this vintage, “the single-vineyard Cotes du Rhone, the 2010 Les Champauvins, is a smaller cuvee made largely from Grenache (70%) and the rest Syrah and Mourvedre. This is the poor person’s Chateauneuf du Pape, with notes of garrigue, lavender, black cherry jam, licorice, and a hint of blacker fruits. Rich, full-bodied, ripe, with sweet tannin and lots of concentration, this is a beauty to drink over the next 8-10 years – it is that rich and concentrated.” -Wine Advocate (Issue 201, June 2012), 92 pts BEST BUY. $19.00

2010 Saint Cosme Cotes-du-Rhone – This rare 100% Syrah has again scored 90 points from Wine Spectator, the previous vintage was on last year’s top wines of the year list. They say, “This has lush, silky-textured layers of dark plum, anise and crushed blackberry fruit, woven with black tea and graphite notes through the finish. Impresses with its length and depth. Drink now through 2012.”  The Syrah grape can bring a spicy edge or a meaty character to the table which often increases the complexity, while graciously handling the cornucopia of flavors in a traditional Thanksgiving meal. The prevalent peppery notes of Syrah will partner well with the herb-infused stuffing and both the white and dark turkey meat. $17.00

Predator Old Vines Zinfandel – Zinfandel is a good choice for those that like their Thanksgiving wine bold and American. Crispy bacon, coffee gelato, and chocolate covered cherry aromas follow through on a silky entry to a fruity medium-to-full body with lots of jammy berry fruit and a smooth zesty cocoa – dusted citrus finish. The smokiness of this wine would pair nicely with a smoked turkey. $19.00

Santa Julia Tardio – This is a late harvest Torrontes, the signature white grape of Argentina. It is a delicate, sweet wine with pear, apricot and citrus aromas. There is fresh fruit and honey on the palate. In Argentina, they enjoy it with dulce de leche pancakes – this would be a knock out for Thanksgiving dessert because it offers the sweetness and the viscosity to support the rich flavors and robust spice of the pumpkin or apple pie as well as the caramelized flavors found in a pecan pie. $15.00

Mionetto “IL” Moscato – This gentle-sparkling wine is fresh and crisp with a floral bouquet and fruit finish. The gentle effervescence of this distinctive white wine makes it a favorite at celebrations and social gatherings. Serve as an aperitif before brunch, lunch or dinner. Enjoy with dessert – from simple fresh fruit to sophisticated pastries. The “IL” Moscato also serves as an excellent complement to spicier cuisine such as Indian or Thai. $17.00


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Thanksgiving Recipes: Desserts

Don’t forget to save room for dessert! It’s the part of the meal most of us look forward too with great anticipation. Pies, cakes and candies fill the table. We have added some delightful recipes to make the end a little sweeter.

Maple Pumpkin Pie | Originally published in It’s O.K. to Buy a Crust — Really, By Suzanne Hamlin, November 19, 1997

Total bake time: 1 hour | Yield: 8 servings


  • 1 1-pound can unsweetened pumpkin puree or 1 lb roasted fresh pumpkin pureed
  • 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. ginger
  • 1/4 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 2 Tbsp. Cognac or brandy
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup cream
  • 1 9-inch metal pie tin lined with pastry


  • Pre-heat oven to 425°
  • In a large bowl, mix together the pumpkin and maple syrup. Whisk in the cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, salt and Cognac or brandy, mixing well. In a small bowl lightly beat the eggs and stir in the cream. Mix the egg and cream mixture with the pumpkin.
  • Prick the pie crust all over the bottom with the tines of a fork. Pour the filling into the crust, put the pie tin on a flat baking sheet and bake on the lower level of the oven for 15 minutes. Turn the heat down to 350° and continue to bake for 30 to 40 more minutes, until filling has set. Remove to a rack, and cool to warm or room temperature. Serve with whipped cream, creme fraiche, vanilla, caramel or rum raisin ice cream.

For those that want to make their own crust…

Flaky Crust


  • 2.5 cups flour
  • 1.5 Tbsp. sugar
  • 1 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 2/3 cup leaf lard, frozen then cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, chilled, and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 6 Tbsp. (or more) ice water
  • 2 tsp. apple cider vinegar


Blend flour, sugar and salt in processor. Add lard and butter and cut in using on/off turns until mixture resembles coarse meal. Transfer mixture to a bowl. Mix 6 Tbsp. ice water and vinegar in small bowl; pour over flour mixture. Stir with fork until moist clumps form, adding more ice water by teaspoonfuls if dough is dry. Gather dough into 2 balls; flatten each into a disk. Wrap each in plastic and chill 30 minutes.

You can make this dough up to 2 days in advance and freeze for up to 1 month. Thaw overnight in refrigerator.


Cranberry Apple PieThe Washington Post, Food Section, 1996

This pie combines the flavors of two very traditional Thanksgiving pies and makes the most of fruit harvested this time of year.

Prep time: 20 minutes | Baking time: 35 minutes


  • 2 cups cranberries
  • 3/4 cup apple juice
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 pound of cooking apples, such as Granny Smith, Rome Beauty, McIntosh, or Winesap, pared, cored, and cubed
  • Pastry for 9″ double crust pie


  • In medium saucepan, combine cranberries and apple juice
  • Bring to boil over high heat; reduce heat to low and simmer 3 minutes of until skins on cranberries begin to pop
  • Stir cornstarch into sugar, then stir into cranberries; cook about 2 minutes or until mixture bubbles and thickens
  • Remove from heat and stir in apples
  • Heat oven to 375°
  • Line a 9″ pie dish with half the pastry, trimming to about 1″ beyond edge of pie dish
  • Spoon filling into pie crust

Decorating the pie:

  • Roll remaining pastry into 1″ circle
  • For lattice top, cut top pastry into 11 strips; lay 5 strips evenly spaced across pie; lay remaining 6 strips so that they overlap bottom strips at an angle to form a diamond pattern
  • Lightly press strips into edge of pie crust; trim strips even with edge of pie dish
  • Fold lower crust over strips, then flute edges
  • Brush pastry with water and sprinkle lightly with additional sugar
  • Bake 30-35 minutes until golden brown
  • Serve warm, with ice cream of lightly whipped cream if desired!


Pear Sorbet with Ginger Spice Crumble | Adapted from Angela Pinkerton, Eleven Madison Park

Serves 4


  • 6 cups pears, peeled, cored, sliced-keep in water with lemon juice while cutting
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp. citric acid
  • 3 Tbsp. creme fraiche
  • 1 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1/4 tsp. salt


Cook pears, sugar and citric acid in saucepan over high heat until pears are soft. Don’t let them burn. Place in a blender and blend until smooth: strain into another pot. Add the creme fraiche, juice and salt and chill for 1 hour until cold. Process in ice cream maker according to manufacturers direction. Place in airtight container and freeze.

Ginger Spice Crumble


  • 3 Tbsp. unsalted butter, cold
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. salt


Heat oven to 325°. Pulse all ingredients in a processor until dough comes together into pebble-sized clumps. Scatter in a single layer on baking sheet line with parchment paper or non-stick baking pad. Bake until dry and golden 15-20 minutes. Remove from oven and cool. Serve on top of Pear Sorbet.


Thanksgiving Sweet Potato Flan | Recipe by Debra Moser, Central Farm Markets


  • 1.5 – 2 lbs pounds un-peeled whole red skinned sweet potatoes
  • 2-3/4 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 6 large eggs at room temperature
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 2 cups whipping cream
  • 2 tsp. grated orange peel


Cook sweet potatoes in a large pot of boiling water until they are fork tender, about 35 minutes. Drain well and cool for 20 minutes. Peel the potatoes in a medium bowl, and mash until smooth. Set aside. Pre-heat oven to 325°.  Stir 2 cups of sugar and 3/4 cup water in heavy medium saucepan over medium heat until sugar dissolves completely. Bring to a boil without stirring until syrup turns deep caramel color, occasionally brushing down the sides of the pot with wet pastry brush and swirling pan, for about 10 minutes.

Working quickly, divide caramel among 12 3/4-cup custard cups or souffle dishes, tilting cups to cover bottom with caramel. Cool.

Combine the mashed sweet potatoes, remaining 3/4 cup sugar, eggs, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt in large bowl to blend well. Combine cream and orange peel in heavy medium saucepan. Bring to a boil.  In a stream, whisk cream into potato-egg mixture. Strain mixture into a bowl and discard the remaining solids. Divide mixture among prepared custard cups custard cups.

Place the cups in 2 large baking pans. Add enough hot water to baking pans to come halfway up the sides of the cups. Bake flans until sides are set but center still moves slightly when cups are shaken. Remove cups from water and cool to room temperature.

This recipe can be made 3 days ahead – keep refrigerated and covered. Bring to room temperature before serving. Run small sharp knife around edges to loosen. Turn flans out onto plates and serve.

If you prefer you can make this in a large batch in a pretty baking dish and served buffet style.

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Thanksgiving Recipes: Turkey, Turkey, Turkey

Brining your Turkey

There are many ways to cook turkeys to get great flavor – roasted in the oven, smoked on the grill and even fried (not inside of course). Your turkey is a serious investment in time and money so why not try to get it as good as it can get? Regardless of the method of cooking you use, we recommend brining your turkey first.

To brine a bird you must start the night before it is cooked. You will need at least 10-12 hours of time, a large refrigerator or cooler packed with ice or ice packs and enough brine to cover the bird. Whatever container you choose, the turkey must have enough room to be turned, so it should be big. Both Reynolds (Oven Roasting Bags for Turkeys) and Ziploc (XL Storage Bag) make very large food safe resealable bags that are great for brining. Even a large black garbage bag works well (double bagged).

Apple Cider Brine | Adapted from “The Thanksgiving Table” by Diane Morgan, Chronicle,2001

This recipe makes enough brine for a 10-25 pound turkey and must be left in the brine for 12-24 hours for maximum flavor.


  • 8 cups unsweetened apple cider
  • 2/3 cups kosher salt
  • 2/3 cups sugar
  • 6 quarter-size slices un peeled fresh ginger
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 6 whole cloves
  • 1 tsp. black peppercorns, crushed
  • 2 tsp. whole allspice berries, crushed
  • 6 cups ice-cold water
  • 1 fresh or thawed Turkey
  • 2 oranges, quartered
  • 2 large plastic bags for the turkey

In a 3-4 quart saucepan on a medium heat, combine the cider, salt, sugar, ginger, bay leaves, cloves, peppercorns and allspice and bring the mixture to a boil, stirring until the sugar and salt dissolve. Boil for about 3 minutes then remove rom the heat. Add 4 cups of the cold water and stir. Cool to room temperature.

Have a large roasting pan ready to hold the turkey. Place 1 plastic bag inside the other bag to create a double thickness. Place the double bag, open side up in the roasting pan.

Remove the giblets and neck from the turkey. Rinse the turkey in cold water, drain it and pat dry with paper towel.

Stuff the orange quarters in the main cavity of the bird. Fold back the bag about a third to form a collar around the bag. Place the turkey inside the bags and pour the brine mixture into the inner bag and over the bird. Add the remaining cold water and draw up the opening of the inside bag and try to squeeze out as much air as possible. Close with a twist tie. Repeat with the outer bag. Refrigerate for 12-24 hours, turning the turkey 3-4 times during the brining process.

Just prior to roasting, remove the turkey from the brine. Discard the brine, bags and oranges and any spices remaining outside the bird and rinse with cold water and pat dry. Your turkey is now ready for cooking!


Roasting the Turkey

When is a turkey done but not over cooked? We refer you to the USDA site. They have wonderful information on storage, handling and cooking your turkey.

The recommended doneness is when the thermometer registers 180° in the thigh and 170° in the breast (unstuffed). Remember the turkey’s temperature will continue to rise a few degrees after being taken out of the oven.

Remember to subtract the weight of the giblets and neck from your roasting time as they can add up to a pound to the bird.

Roasting Times (For Unstuffed Birds Only) at 325°

We do not recommend stuffing your turkey as there could be potential problems with some ingredients not being fully cooked. Cook your stuffing separately. It will taste great!

  • 8 – 12 pounds: 2-3/4 – 3 hours
  • 12 – 14 pounds: 3 – 3-3/4 hours
  • 14 – 18 pounds: 3-1/4 – 4-1/4 hours
  • 18 – 20 pounds: 4-1/4 – 4.5 hours
  • 20 – 24 pounds: 4.5 – 5 hours

Baste with juices as the turkey roasts.

Wood-Smoked TurkeyFood & Wine, contributed by Josh Vogel

Here is inspiration for those of you who like a smoked Turkey and if you have a Big Green Egg then you are in luck! If you try this let us know how it came out!

Josh Vogel’s smoker allows him to start cooking the bird as low as 130°, and then finish smoking at 180°, but other smokers can be almost impossible to keep that cool. This adapted recipe calls for a constant temperature of about 200°. Since times will vary based on smoker temperature, the only reliable way to judge doneness is by cooking the turkey until its inner thigh registers 165°.  Make sure to have plenty of hardwood charcoal or wood on hand.


  • 3 gallons water
  • 1.5 cups fine sea salt
  • 3/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 12 thyme sprigs
  • 5 dried bay leaves
  • 1 head of garlic, halved crosswise
  • One 10-pound turkey, neck and giblets reserved for another use
  • 2 pounds cherry or other fruitwood chips, soaked in water overnight


  • In a very large pot, combine the water, sea salt, maple syrup, thyme, bay leaves and garlic. Stir the brine until the salt is completely dissolved. Add the turkey, breast side down, top it with a plate to keep it submerged and refrigerate for 24 hours.
  • Light a hardwood charcoal or wood fire in the firebox of a smoker. Heat the smoker to 200°. Scatter some of the soaked wood chips around the coals; the chips should smolder but not flare. Set a drip pan filled with water on the bottom of the smoke box.
  •  Remove the turkey from the brine and pat dry inside and out with paper towels. Tuck the wing tips under the turkey and tie the legs together with string. Set the turkey over the drip pan. Smoke the turkey for about 5 hours, until an instant-read thermometer inserted in an inner thigh registers 165°; monitor the coals throughout the smoking process and add more coals and/or wood, soaked chips and water as needed to maintain the temperature and smoke level. Transfer the turkey to a carving board and let rest for 20 minutes before serving.