Turkey is a very versatile meat that can go well with many different types of wine, but zinfandels may just be the perfect compliment to the bird for Thanksgiving. First, zinfandel is a very American wine, so it fits in well with the traditions of the holiday. They also offer a round and balanced flavor that anyone can enjoy, especially because zins often have a lot of berry flavor, which covers some of the acidity that occasional wine drinkers find slightly off-putting sometimes. This means that zin will be very drinkable for all your guests, no matter how experienced with wines they are. Business Week picked out some of the best zins to serve with any turkey-based holiday dinner, all fruity and most with interesting touches of oak or licorice that really make them unique: Ridge Vineyards Buchignani Ranch (91 pts, $24); Elyse Winery Korte Ranch Vineyard (94 pts, $30); Hartford Court Russian River (93 pts, $30); Robert Biale Black Chicken (93 pts, $34); Carlisle Tom Feeney Ranch (92 pts, $38); and Linne Calodo Problem Child (92 pts, $42).
"red" news and stories
Have you been to Starbucks lately? If so, you have probably noticed that their signature holiday red cups are in use, but if you are lucky, you might have noticed something else was happening in the stores, too. Starbucks just launched their cheer-pass movement. The company's goal is to start a chain of cheer this season by passing on good things to some of their customers, in the hopes that they, in turn, will pass that good cheer on to someone else by doing something thoughtful for another person. To kick off the program, last week some Manhattan commuters were given free subway MetroCards and free movie tickets were given away in Chicago. Other bits of cheer from the company might include free samples of the chain's holiday beverages, bags of coffee and $5 Starbucks Cards.
The only "catch", such as it is, is that the cheer spread by the company is accompanied by cheer passes, which are numbered cards that you are supposed to pass on if and when you "pay it forward" and do something good for another person this season. They have the Starbucks logo, but the real purpose of the passes is to track the chain of good deeds. By entering the number of the card on the cheer pass website, you can enter your good deed and see what other ones were associated with that particular card before you received it.
The company hopes to distribute 10,000 pieces of cheer daily for the next eight weeks to see, in the holiday spirit, just how far one good deed can go.
For the unfamiliar, red velvet cake is party punch red and coated in thick white frosting. It's an equally decadent relative of chocolate cake. My own limited run-ins with it haven't yielded particularly chocolatey tasting encounters, but its richness and snowy cream cheese dressing could satisfy any chocolate lover's deepest desire.
A sort of red-velvet-legend attributes this cake to the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City. A guest ordered a slice and liked it so much that she asked for the recipe. The hotel gave it up and billed her $100. Furious, she spread the recipe around in chain letters.
Filed under: Bakeries
Anything with Jello – as one of the few foods that actually comes in the color blue, Jello is the perfect choice for making red, white and blue desserts, not to mention that it's always a kid favorite. Try a patriotic Jello pie, red white and blue terrine or an All-american trifle.
Shortcake – there is something classic about shortcake after a barbecue. You can use almost any fruit, but opt for strawberries, blueberries or raspberries on the 4th. For the cake, make a traditional biscuit base or just use a slice of pound cake. Try this recipe or this one.
Chocolate chip cookies – maybe the expression should have been "as American as chocolate chip cookies," because not only were these invented in the US, but they're a favorite with everyone. And you can't go wrong with the famous Tollhouse recipe, which started it all.
I picked up a cookie. It was a stocking sugar cookie, the kind with just enough spice and a lot of crunch. It was covered in a thick coating of bright Christmas red icing, with white squiggles at the top to stand in for fur trim. I bit into the toe, a bite big enough to stain my teeth and leave crumbs all over my lips. Yum, red! I thought.
There is a distinct taste to red food coloring, the kind that is so prevalent around the red-centric Christmas holidays. And I love it. I can't quite explain it - it doesn't taste of chemicals to me; either I've developed a celebratory association with it over the years, or the taste comes from some more natural source (beetles maybe?) that I just enjoy thoroughly.