Thanksgiving and it’s Wines and Food


It’s been a while since writing a post… I have taken a personal sabbatical to better my wine and food skills and create a different philosophy through it all. As I feel that less is more, I have been experimenting in the Cantinetta Vintners test kitchen with various modernist techniques, studying the techniques of my favorite Michelin Chefs, the history of certain foods and gathering my conclusions through my experiences around the world.

During this time of year, I feel it is very important to give thanks. We tend to take things for granted. If we have a tight family and good health all is ok. And let’s not forget about good food and wine.

As an idea for those who did not invite like fifty people over for this Thanksgiving, try making a roulade of Turkey breast instead. One roulade is enough for 2 people.

Buy some turkey breasts, usually 2 per packet. Butterfly a turkey
breast at a time, (run your knife lengthwise through the thick part of the breast as to be able to fold open). Open flaps and place upside down between 2 seran plastic wraps and pound flat with a rolling pin or mallet. When flattened, flip over and remove top plastic wrap. Stuff the breast with stuffing and roll like a cigar in the plastic and place 1/2 hour in fridge. Unwrap and tie in kitchen twine. Douse in olive oil sea salt, pepper and place in a parchment paper lined baking tray. Bake for 40 minutes.

For my stuffing, I used crushed pistachios, diced Kings Hawaiian sweet rolls, finely diced onion, garlic, diced dried cherries, diced apricots, Italian seasoning and ground pepper.

For your side of cranberry, dissolve 1 1/2 cans of cranberry sauce in a saucepan with no heat. Stirring and slowly adding water until a juice consistency. Then follow the instructions on a box of unflavored gelatine. In modernist cooking this is called gellification. It gives your boring canned cranberry a new look and mouthfeel that will wow your guests.

Then either make or buy some good ol’ southern skillet cornbread and cut into small 1 inch squares (homemade is best). Boil some diced peeled baby sweet potatoes and when tender to a forks touch, add to a blender with a bit of the water used for boiling. The starch in the water binds the potatoes into a velvety sweet potato puree. Place puree in a pastry bag and create rosettes on the plate. See where I’m getting at… Trying new techniques and creating a different, deconstructed and plated Thanksgiving meal for fewer people… Oh and by the way, if you have the privilege of buying produce at a farm, choose baby veggies and greens. They are much more tender and create a more visually appealing plate.

Many people still get confused and ask me what wine to pair with their gobble gobble. Remember that I said before that regional wines go best with regional cuisines… Think that as American as Thanksgiving is, you want to stay local with your wine too. Go American. Light meat, light flavors, light wines. I’m thinking a lightly oaked California Chardonnay such as the Sonoma Cutrer from the Sonoma Coast (buttery and lush) or a light bodied Oregon Pinot Noir such as the Atticus Pinot Noir From the Willamette Valley with hints of smoky bacon and strawberries these wines will be crowd pleasers. Cin Cin and give thanks!

Categories: Wine Wisdom

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