NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwired - Nov 6, 2014) - Thanksgiving is upon us and that means gathering family and friends for turkey and the trimmings. A common side effect of holiday meal planning is stress over wine pairings. For the cooking-challenged, there's a turkey hotline; alas, there's no 1-800-sommelier line for wine advice. Lieb Cellars of Long Island's North Fork is here to help with expert tips to avoid Thanksgiving trauma and enjoy the day.
Six Tips for Taming Thanksgiving
1. Don't overthink the wine pairings: Master Sommelier Tim Gaiser recommends, "Make it easy! The traditional menu has such a wide range of flavors that practically every style of wine works. That being said, avoid wines with too much tannin or oak as they will dominate most Thanksgiving fare."
2. Check your "gear" well in advance: cooking and serving utensils, dishes, flatware, glassware, and don't forget the oven! You don't want to be caught with chipped glasses, unintentionally mismatched plates or the ultimate disaster, an under-cooked turkey.
3. Stick to the tried and true: Our East End neighbor, Ina Garten, aka The Barefoot Contessa, advises, "Never, ever test a new recipe on guests for any reason. This is particularly true on Thanksgiving when there's so much to do." ("10 Tips for a Stress-Free Thanksgiving", Good Housekeeping, October 2013)
4. Time it out: Bill Telepan, Chef and Co-Owner of NYC's Telepan and Telepan Local instructs, "Write a list of what you're making and set up a timeline to see how long it will take to execute. That way you're not only super organized but you'll also have time to entertain guests."
5. Begin with bubbles: A glass of sparkling wine is a festive way to welcome guests and get the party started. Lieb Reserve Blanc de Blancs ($35) is a minerally 100% Pinot Blanc sparkler made in the classic method that pairs deliciously with most appetizers.
6. Love the Leftovers: Bridge Lane White Blend and Red Blend wines from Lieb Cellars are available in 3-liter boxes (equivalent to 4 bottles) so you might have a glass or two left to enjoy with that turkey sandwich after Black Friday shopping. ($20 per 750 ml bottle; $46 per 3L box).
Prefer to keep it really simple with one wine? Bridge Lane Rosé ($18) is a light-bodied, dry, yet fruity wine that won't overwhelm the stars of the table. Looking for a fuller-bodied option? Lieb Cellars Reserve Merlot ($22) will deliciously complement a myriad of dishes.
Give thanks this season with food-friendly, affordable wines from Lieb Cellars and Bridge Lane. Wines are available nationally through liebcellars.com and at retailers throughout NY, NJ, CT, MA, PA, and RI. Wines can also be enjoyed at Lieb Cellars three tasting rooms on the East End of Long Island in Mattituck and Cutchogue.