Not a terribly popular meal here in New Zealand from what I can tell. Without a Thanksgiving type holiday and warm Christmas weather, not to mention all the cattle and wee lambs running around, it hasn't crossed my mind in awhile. Still, with Canadian heritage (I celebrated my own little Thanksgiving back in October with spring lamb), I'll have to source some turkey for the coming holiday. Along with my turkey fix, I'll be needing something to drink and have narrowed it down to a few choices.
1) Bubbles. As good a champagne as I can afford. Or two bottles of local sparkler. There are lots of good value for money choices around NZ depending on your taste. And depending on the locally available selection, I might pick up a slightly cheaper one and start at breakfast with a Bellini and end at dinner with a Kir Royale cocktail. Why not, it's the holidays.
2) RED Bubbles. Who knew? All those crazy (duck?) wines in North America that I have heard about but never drank (I was too young, hehe) haven't ruined red bubbles for me. The Aussies have been making some good sparkling reds for awhile (Hugh Hamilton's merlot is spectacular stuff and under $20, whoohoo). There must be someone importing it.. I don't think there is any being made here. It might seem odd at first, but it is a nice drop for the sage stuffing, rich meat and sauces.
3) Pinot Noir. With the varietal berry and possible truffle/mushroom flavours, I'd have to say that for a special occasion (and with others who'd appreciate it) Pinot Noir would compliment a menu that I'd whip up to impress the in-laws. For turkey, it's tempting to lean toward the lighter end but that would depend on what accompaniments were being served. Put a few drops of truffle oil in the potato mash, some wild mushrooms in the dressing and slip a bottle of Pinot Noir into something more comfortable, a decanter. This silky wine will be perfect for the sauces and enhance the slight gamey flavours of the meat too.
4) A rich creamy Chardonnay. Fruity, juicy and definitely one with some time in a barrel (but easy on the new oak). There are many good ones in NZ: Craggy Range, Saint Clair, Milton, Martinborough Vineyard, Ata Rangi.. the impressive list would take a whole post. But thinking of my poor pocketbook, Saint Clair would be a good choice and I'd go for Nobilos Poverty Bay 2002 if there is any left. Both are seamless baked-pear-custardy-buttery-hazelnut-biscuit beauties and the Nobilo should probably be drank by now. The Saint Clair also had buttered popcorn on the nose, incredible! They are so good that the festivities could deteriorate (or escalate) into a rather raucous evening if you weren't careful. Poverty Bay 04 isn't bad either.
5) A rose. I always had a thing against rose and then a trip to Waiheke Island changed all that. But since few of those bottles are available off the rock, I went looking this summer in Canada and found one in Niagara's Flat Rock vineyard (made by a former Villa Maria vigneron, Darryl Brooker, now at Inniskillen, I think). It was a %100 Pinot Noir rose. It's a possible partner for many hard to match foods. And not bad only slightly chilled either (I had to try this, it was 30C outside). I think with the range of flavours and textures in a typical turkey meal, it might just do the trick.
As with any food matching quest, but there is never one solution. And all this talk about turkey is making me homesick. It'll be Chardonnay, Semillon, Sauvignon Blanc and seafood for me in December but I'll survive somehow.