The Golden Rule of wine and food pairing is a simple one — if you like it, drink it!
But when the family gathers for the turkey feast or at Christmas time, something more is often expected. How about something different? Or maybe it’s time to serve up something a bit more extravagant!
An occupational hazard for wine writers is the expected column of wine recommendations for the holidays, so who am I to disappoint?
The first rule of picking wines for a big meal is do not overly focus not the main protein. Think about all of those side dishes and the different flavors. That makes almost any wine a good pick. But with the turkey and main course there are some certain winners and perhaps a few you’ve never tried worth picking up.
A good domestic Chardonnay will work every time. You can buy palatable bottles at the grocery or most liquor stores. I recommend value labels Robert Mondavi, Mirrasou, and flip flop as very palatable wines if you want to keep you’re price point under $10 a bottle.
Dry Riesling is another outstanding choice. Frankly, there is so much good Riesling made in the U.S., you don’t need to think foreign to find a great bottle. New York and Michigan are areas really emerging with their Riesling wines. Washington state winemakers are producing great Riesling. Several Midwestern wineries are doing Riesling as well.
If there is a decent wine shop nearby there are several other great choices.
If you like drier wines but want a big nose of autumn in your glass try a Gewurztraminer or Viognier. Gewurzt is one of the most aromatic wines in the world. It can be fairly sweet to off-dry. Viognier, my choice of the two, is a drier white wine with hints of apple, pear, and spice. For an even better pairing go drier with a Pinot Gris or Chenin Blanc.
For the extravagant dinner gathering, splurge for the world’s best white wine — Chablis. Better wine shops will have a few labels to choose from. Chablis is Chardonnay made in a dry, crisp style with tremendous minerality and acidity. Real Chablis comes from Chablis, France and nowhere else. Frankly, don’t buy the other stuff. Chablis would be awesome with any poultry. You can find great bottles starting in the $20 price range and up. Domaine William Fevre, Billaud-Simon, and Drouhin are just three labels which consistently make outstanding French white wine.
Here is an option many people just won’t think about or consider, but Rose’ wines make a great pairing with poultry. Rose is that nice middle point between white and red wines and the quality continues to skyrocket vintage to vintage. Find a French Provence Rose or an Oregon Pinot Noir Rose for your Turkey. Midwestern wineries make pretty good to outstanding Rose’ wines. Just go for the dry Rose wines regardless of region to match well with your dinner.
The red of choice has long been Pinot Noir for Thanksgiving. And again, if you are sticking with value look for the labels mentioned above. But if it’s off to the wine shop, consider a French Beaujolais — and not that Nouveau stuff. Find a Beaujolais Cru wine from Julienas, Morgon, or Fleurie. The Gamay-based wines are very affordable at $12-$18 and great with food.
If you want to impress pick up any bottle of Oregon Pinot Noir above the $30 price point. It is sure to be a huge hit with your guests.
Coming up: Gadgets for the wine lover on your Christmas list.
Howard W. Hewitt, Crawfordsville, writes about wine for 21 Midwestern newspapers. Reach him at: email@example.com. Read his blog at: www.redforme.
The Golden Rule of wine and food pairing is a simple one — if you like it, drink it!
Longtime weatherman Jesse Walker relates well to people of Wabash Valley
While in middle and high school, Jesse Walker developed a strong interest in the weather. He thought about a career at the National Weather Service or at a storm prediction center, but the idea of becoming a television meteorologist never entered his mind.
YOUR GREEN VALLEY: Keep your garden — and yourself — safe from lead
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, lead poisoning is the No. 1 preventable environmental cause of illness in children.
TRIED ‘N’ TRUE: Need something for the kids? Try these Ritzy Cookies
When we have dinners at the church, one of the ladies brings these cookies. Nancy Kahl has been making these for some time now. They are so good. Need something for your kids? Make sure that there isn’t any one who can’t have peanuts. These are so easy and extra good.
CULINARY COURSES: Clabber Girl Classroom Kitchen provides variety of cooking courses for the Valley
There are a few taste-bud-tantalizing-perks for having America’s leading baking powder producer in your backyard. For nearly 120 years, Clabber Girl has been a staple in Terre Haute. In 1899, Hulman and Company began offering up what was to become one of the oldest brands in the country, Clabber baking powder. In 1923, the company changed the baking powder brand name to Clabber Girl.
RIVER OF SOUND: Composer sees symphony bring his musical imagination to life
David Watkins smiled as he stood on the Tilson Auditorium stage. The audience stood, too, applauding.
Two of his compositions had just been performed by the Terre Haute Symphony Orchestra. Neither piece — “A Wabash Portrait” and “River Fanfare” — had been played publicly in decades.
The Beauties of Spring: Stunning array of wildflowers bloom each spring in Collett Park
Groundskeepers put off the first mowing of Collett Park each spring.
Admirers of the place, Terre Haute’s oldest park, like it that way.
A stunning array of wildflowers covers the 21-acre lawn for a few short weeks. Those plants, known as “spring beauties,” emerge in March, bloom in April and go dormant by May, when the brilliant waves of white and pink flowers disappear.
Day spent with daughter inspires Valley man to write children’s book for her
It started with a warm sunny blackberry picking outing, a bee buzzing, a little bird nest with eggs in it and a little girl begging her daddy for a night-time story. And from those ingredients the children’s book, “The Bee in the Blackberry Bush” came to fruition.
From kilts to haggis, Wabash Valley Scottish Society marks a decade of preserving heritage
As soon as Richard Cooper breaks into his Scottish accent, a smile automatically follows.
It happened last week as he recited a work of legendary Scotland poet Robert Burns.
Witness to history: April movie chronicles Jackie Robinson’s trials as be breaks Major League Baseball’s color barrier — something Vigo County native Harry Taylor witnessed first hand
The upcoming movie “42” aims to show America what Jackie Robinson endured.
Harry Taylor witnessed it firsthand.
Robinson wore jersey No. 42 for the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947. Taylor wore 41. Both were 28-year-old rookies, considerably older than most. Taylor got delayed by military service in World War II. Professional baseball’s unwritten but ironclad code of racial discrimination had kept Robinson and other African-Americans out of the majors since the 1880s.
Sisterly Habits: Fillenwarth sisters are linked together in more than one sense
The Fillenwarth sisters are sisters in more than one sense of the word.
Both were born two of the eight children of city cop Henry and his wife Catherine Fillenwarth. Both grew up among a large and giving Catholic extended family in inner-city Indianapolis in the 1940s.
Geocaching Indiana: Clay County man develops idea to use geo-art to create outline of state in caches
Indiana, long-known as the Crossroads of America, has for years been a destination for people coming from around the world to witness such activities as the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race, Indianapolis Colts football games and Indiana University Hoosiers basketball games.
Since October 2012, Indiana’s attractions have come to include the surprising geo-art creation of a group of Wabash Valley geocachers — people who use Global Positioning Systems and similar location-sensitive devices to find hidden objects for fun.
Voice of a Storyteller: Chance meeting of Twain, Paris youngster inspired narrative voice of Huck Finn
The block offers no hints of its place in American literary history.
Customers dodge raindrops, walking in and out of an auto parts store.
Pearls of the Wabash: Efforts to reintroduce mussels
Broken bricks, shattered large clay tiles and thin strips of lumber nailed into a crimped piece of sheet metal, sit piled down a county road in Hillsdale.
Natural Habitat: Meet 17-year-old Ben Cvengros, who has a knack for capturing wildlife — in particular, birds — on his camera
I would like to introduce you to a 17-year-old Parke County teenager who has an incredible level of patience. Ben Cvengros was 12 years old when he found his passion for photography.
WORD PLAY: Scrabble Club broadens Greene County youngsters’ vocabularies and experiences in a fun way
Drew Helton nodded his head like a wise college professor dispensing scholarly advice.
Doing a lot with a little: Family’s resourcefulness leads it to reuse vegetable oil as fuel
Up a winding driveway, tucked off a main road in Clay County, sits an average-looking house in a hardwood forest. The homeowners, Chris and Lori Hart, are two resourceful people.
Coming full circle: Vigo County 4-H’er hopes donation of livestock auction money helps youth
The phrase “giving back” is often quoted but sometimes lacks personal follow through.
CRUISIN’ TO A CAREER IN MUSIC: Terre Haute native Will Foraker on a roll with new album, job as cruise ship entertainer
On his way to the Panama Canal, Will Foraker sounded energized.
Fountain honoring sacrifice by life-saving Santa may return to site of his heroism
A commemorative drinking fountain once marked the spot. Someday soon, it may return there.
A Devotion to Art: The Halcyon featuring artistic legacy of Evalyn James during month of December
Evalyn Gertrude James first made a name for herself in Terre Haute in the late 1920s when she took a job as a professor of art at what is now Indiana State University.
‘A Song for Indiana’ to raise money for Dresser sculpture
Art Spaces will present “A Song for Indiana – The Paul Dresser Project” at 5:30 p.m. on June 6 at the Holiday Inn of Terre Haute.
Sign up for Community School of the Arts classes
Summer is the perfect time to enroll children and teens in theater and visual arts and music classes at the Indiana State University Community School of the Arts.
FAMILY TIES: While searching for my grandfather, I found my mother
I remember the afternoon my mother received the chilling news from her nephew that her oldest sister and brother-in-law had been killed in a car/bus collision.
GRAPE SENSE: Same old whites getting you down? Try something different
If the same old Chardonnay, Riesling or Pinot Grigio is getting you down, try something different.
TRIED ‘N’ TRUE: A Rhubarb Nut Bread for the season
Last fall we went to the Covered Bridge Festival. Gene loves to go. Anyway, I got to talking to this lady, Treva Smith, at Bridgeton.
Diamond Hill Station goes bold in ‘Katy Bar the Door’ album
On the second track of Diamond Hill Station’s new CD, the band deftly rambles through a catchy, love-gone-wrong song called “Same Old Thing.”
Roxie Randle takes next step with single ‘Everything I’m Not’
The next step for singer-songwriter Roxie Randle is a single with the attitude and power to crack radio airplay lists.
Opening reception Friday for ‘Mud Musings’
Indiana State University’s Community School of the Arts is scheduled to host an opening reception for an art exhibition from 4 to 6 p.m. on Friday in the Gallery Lounge of ISU’s Hulman Memorial Student Union.
CHRIS DAVIES: Keep sodium levels in mind when sweating buckets
Salt, or sodium, is vital to life. Too much or too little sodium can cause all kinds of problems in your body. How much sodium do we need if we are exercising consistently?
YOUR GREEN VALLEY: Union Hospital creates community garden
Union Hospital will be opening a community garden on its campus in mid-May. Before they embarked on such a challenge, they looked to their neighbor Indiana State University for advice.
- More Features Headlines
- Longtime weatherman Jesse Walker relates well to people of Wabash Valley