Holiday Dining & Wine-pairing Tips

Behind every wonderful holiday meal is a great wine. This season, create a festive mood by pairing a new wine with a special meal or by inviting friends over for a wine tasting.

Here are a few pointers on pairing food and wine from the experts at MyWinesDirect.com:

• Wine should complement the food rather than dominate it: light food, light wine; heavier food, heavier wine.

• Soups, salads and light dishes will taste best when accompanied by light, usually white, wines.

• More-robust foods such as steak and pasta can handle bigger, full-bodied reds.

Keeping these tips in mind, serve a pleasing, well-rounded wine that matches a variety of foods and all the dishes will have a chance to shine. And, with so many side dishes, it's okay to keep the main dish simple. Try this easy, delicious holiday recipe served with a glass of Osprey Glen Sauvignon Blanc 2006 or a Stallion Cellars Pinot Noir 2005 and your holiday dinner will be a hit.

Simple Roast Turkey Recipe

1 (16-lb.) turkey at room temperature 1 hour, neck and giblets removed and reserved for another use if desired

1 tablespoon salt

13/4 teaspoons black pepper

1 cup water

Special equipment: 2 small metal skewers; kitchen string; a 17- by 14-inch flameproof roasting pan with a flat rack; an instant-read thermometer; a 2-qt. glass measuring cup.

Make turkey:

Put oven rack in lowest position and preheat oven to 450° F. Rinse turkey inside and out, then pat dry. Sprinkle turkey cavities and skin with salt and pepper. Fold neck skin under body and secure with metal skewers, then tie drumsticks together with kitchen string and tuck wings under body.

Put turkey on rack in roasting pan. Add 1 cup water to pan and roast without basting, rotating pan halfway through roasting, until thermometer inserted into fleshy part of thighs (test both thighs; do not touch bones) registers 170° F, 21/4 to 23/4 hours.

Carefully tilt turkey so any juices from inside large cavity run into roasting pan, then transfer turkey to a platter, reserving juices in roasting pan. Let turkey stand, uncovered, 30 minutes (temperature of thigh meat will rise to 180° F).

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About The Author, Wendy Mitchell
Recipe provided by Epicurious.com.Wine is just the thing to pull together a variety of foods at a holiday meal.