Tradition Doesn't Have to Mean Predictable When it Comes to Holiday Sides

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tart2.jpgOf course, your family expects a traditional holiday meal. But, you yearn for the fun and challenge of cooking up something a little different and adventurous. Why not do both? Prepare the traditional meal of time-honored favorites your family loves, but this time, give tradition a tasty timely tweak. Here are some recipes to help you discover that traditional doesn't have to mean predictable. We've taken holiday menu classics and recharged them with a few fresh new ingredients. Try these delectable subtle flavors that add to but don't overpower the familiar ones and take your holiday dinner from being a good meal to a great one.

Cranberry relish gets a new taste makeover - and powerful antioxidant boost - with the addition of a splash of Petite Sirah and a half cup of fresh blueberries mingled with the cranberries. The delicate sweetness of the blueberries helps tone down the cranberries' tartness in a beautiful glistening tapestry of rich jewel colors.
For a sensational savory side, try the caramelized onion and gruyere tart. Fresh Bermuda onions caramelized in butter to a golden brown blend with cream, eggs and heavenly gruyere. Fresh nutmeg and thyme send the flavor to the stratosphere plus scent the table with robust spicy holiday aromas.

turkey.jpgThe heart of any holiday meal is the bird - a glorious mountain of crackling golden skin encasing savory juices and tender meat. Brining the turkey - soaking it in a salty bath overnight - continues to be a popular way to boost both flavor and tenderness. But we've added a twist - citrus twist. Fresh wedges of lemon and orange add to the brine permeate the turkey with a subtle tangy taste and tantalizing fragrance that amps up the luscious poultry flavors.

What to sip. Petite Sirah is a versatile varietal for many foods, but it shines at a traditional Thanksgiving meal. Rich, full-bodied and made from choice California grapes, its velvety supple flavor provides the perfect accompaniment for the savory special dishes of the season.

"Concannon Vineyard has specialized in Petite Sirah for over 45 years, since we introduced the first varietally labeled wine in 1964, and we now make several different Petite Sirahs to fit different taste and wallet profiles," stated Jim Concannon, third generation vintner. "For the 'more-the-merrier bring your favorite dish' gathering, there's the 2007 Selected Vineyards Petite Sirah, a real value at of just $10 per bottle. For the full joyful table of family gathered around, the perfect choice is the celebratory 2006 Reserve Petite Sirah at of $38 per bottle. And then, for your first holiday meal together as a couple or for a special dinner with a few dear old friends, make a memorable impression with our 2004 Heritage Petite Sirah, a $50 per bottle treasure. You can even place your order online now at Concannon to make sure you have a bottle of Concannon Petite Sirah for every holiday event on your calendar," continued Concannon.

concannon_bottle.jpgA founding family of California wine, Concannon is the oldest continuously operating winery in the state, with four generations of family leadership. Concannon introduced America's first varietally labeled Petite Sirah in 1964, sparking a love affair with this varietal, and led with the introduction of Cabernet Sauvignon clones 7, 8 and 11 in replanting much of Napa Valley in the 1970s. As we enter our 126th harvest, Concannon continues to lead the California wine industry in preserving an agricultural way of life by protecting vineyards from urban development with our new Conservancy wines. Concannon wines are available nationally where fine wines are sold and at www.ConcannonVineyard.com (where legal).

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