Excited for our Black Friday deals? We’re excited to announce a new “deal” for you and your community – #GivingTuesday
This year, Total Wine & More will join thousands of other corporations, volunteer organizations, charities, and foundations as a partner of #GivingTuesday, and we will celebrate the holidays by giving back to our local communities.
For those of you new to #GivingTuesday, it is a national holiday that started in 2012 as a day to transform how people think about, talk about, and participate in the giving season. On the Tuesday after Thanksgiving – December 3, 2013 — families, charities, businesses, and individuals will come together to improve their local communities and contribute in whatever way possible to the causes they support and help create a better world. You don’t have to be a billionaire to give back; #GivingTuesday is about ordinary people coming together to do extraordinary things. Everyone is encouraged to be generous in whatever ways matter to them, whether it’s is volunteering locally, donating to a favorite cause, or reflecting on meaningful experiences that they have had.
Since opening our doors in 1991, Total Wine & More has been committed to enriching the lives of wine lovers, as well as being active and supporting the communities in which we work and live. Total Wine strives to be a responsible corporate citizen and make a difference in our communities through philanthropy and social responsibility programs.
In support of #GivingTuesday, Total Wine & More will double all in-kind donations granted to registered charities for requests received on December 3rd. Don’t worry, California! You will have until 3 a.m. EST to make a request for your charity.
If you’ve never requested a donation for a local charity that you support, make sure to check out how to apply for an in-kind donation for one of your upcoming fundraisers here: www.totalwine.com/donations
Celebrate with us! What will you do for your community on December 3rd? Share your story below or on our Facebook page.
The history of viticulture in Austria dates as far back as 700 B.C. The Celts used wine for rituals and for daily consumption, a tradition continued by the conquering Romans and later revitalized after years of neglect by Charlemagne. Austrian viticulture was also influenced by Cistercian monks from Burgundy who came to Austria in the Middle Ages, bringing their grapes and winemaking knowledge.
Wine production is concentrated in the eastern regions of Austria, which like Germany is best known for producing white wines. The climate of Austria is comparable to that in Burgundy, France. Warm, sunny summers and long, mild autumn days with cool nights are characteristic for most of these areas.
Today, Austrian viticulture has seen a quality boom over the last couple of decades, with internationally traveled and educated winemakers carrying on the traditions of winemaking. Their dedication has helped wines from Austria make a leap in quality that has led to worldwide recognition.
Austria has an array of grape varieties – 35, in fact – officially approved for wine production.
While many Americans may not be aware of Grüner Veltliner (GROO-ner FELT-lih-ner), it’s the most common white grape in Austria, where it covers one-third of the country’s vineyards. There, wine lovers appreciate its light and refreshing flavors of citrus, stone fruit and flowers and a distinctive white pepper profile. While most Grüner is enjoyed in its youth, some selections from key areas east of Vienna—Wachau, Kremstal and Kamptal—are more complex, offering mineral notes and the ability to age and develop additional complexity in the bottle.
With a long history in Austria, Grüner Veltliner’s popularity has surged around the world in recent years, and the grape has gained international acclaim, winning many blind tastings. This wine is very food-friendly, and can be a perfect pre-dinner sipper served alone.
Fresh and light red
A popular red varietal, Blauer Zweigelt [blouwr TSVYE-gelt], is velvety and light-bodied with characteristic cherry tones and soft tannins. A fresh and fruity wine, it shares similarities with the wines of Beaujolais and is a great everyday red to keep around the house.
Austrian wines offer the perfect accompaniment to an array of dishes and food styles, from classic European to Mediterranean, even pan-Asian and fusion cuisine. This is due to their perfumed and elegant style; the result of ideal grape-growing climate and state-of-the-art winemaking technique.
A quintessential Austrian dish to feature with your Grüner Veltliner and Blauer Zweigelt is Tafelspitz, or boiled beef. It’s the national dish of Austria and a holiday-time classic.
Tafelspitz (adapted from the New York Times)
1 large onion, halved horizontally but not peeled
3 large carrots, scrubbed
1 large parsnip, scrubbed
1 small celery root, scrubbed
2 celery stalks
1 leek, cut in half
1 pound beef bones
2 pieces beef triangle (tri-tip), each about 1 1/2 pounds
15 black peppercorns
2 bay leaves
4 cloves garlic, peeled
8 branches flat-leaf parsley
4 branches fresh dill
1/2 cup freshly grated horseradish
1 Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored and grated
Juice of one lemon
1/4 cup minced chives
1. Char onion on cut side over open flame or by placing cut-side down in cast-iron skillet over high heat. Place in 16-quart stockpot with carrots, parsnip, celery root, celery, leek and beef bones. Add 8 quarts cold water. Bring to boil, and cook 10 minutes, skimming constantly. Add beef, allow to boil 5 minutes and skim.
2. Reduce heat to simmer, and cook, skimming from time to time, 1 hour. Add 1 tablespoon sea salt, peppercorns, bay leaves and garlic. Tie parsley and dill together, and add. Continue simmering 1 to 1 1/2 hours, until meat is very tender.
3. While meat is cooking, mix horseradish and apple with lemon juice, and set aside.
4. Remove meat from pot, and cover with foil. Line large sieve or colander with cheesecloth or linen napkin, and place over very large bowl. Pour in contents of pot. Do not press liquid from vegetables. Transfer strained broth to 6-quart saucepan.
5. Set carrots, parsnip, celery root and celery stalks aside. Discard everything else. Peel and dice carrots, parsnip and celery root. Dice celery stalks. Set aside.
6. Gently reheat broth. Add salt to taste. Serve some of the broth as a first course, with diced celery root, parsnip and celery stalks. Then serve meat. If it needs to be reheated, steam briefly over remaining broth. Slice meat 1/2-inch thick across grain. Place in soup plates, with diced carrots, moisten with hot broth, and top with apple-horseradish, sea salt and chives. Serve.
Brussels sprouts, traditionally among the last of the seasonal produce to come to market in autumn, are a classic side dish with Thanksgiving turkey. This flavorful Brussels sprouts recipe, enhanced with pancetta and garlic, will delight your guests!
Brussels sprouts, depending on the preparation, can be a tricky pairing with wine. But there’s no need to worry if you go with either of these delicious suggestions:
A staff favorite red wine for Thanksgiving, Domaine Mas du Bouquet Vacqueyras [pronounced vah keh rahs] impresses with a room-filling bouquet of spices and black fruits. This beauty from the south of France is brimming over with flavors of roasted plum, mocha and lots of spices – ideal with the array of seasoned dishes on the traditional Thanksgiving table.
Are you looking for a versatile white wine for Thanksgiving? Let us suggest Summit Estates Gewürztraminer from Washington State. It’s a beautiful example of Gewürztraminer’s perfumed character, with classic aromas of floral, peach, apple blossom and ginger. Bright fruit flavors with a kiss of sweetness continue on the palate, concluding with a note of spice on the finish.
Pancetta Roasted Brussels Sprouts
Adapted from a recipe by Sean Eastwood, executive chef of La Valencia Hotel in La Jolla, Calif., courtesy of Wine Spectator.
• 2 tablespoons olive oil • 5 ounces pancetta, cut into 2-inch-long and ¼-inch-thick strips
• 4 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
• Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
• 1 cup chicken stock
1. Bring a large pot of 4 quarts water and 1 tablespoon salt to a boil, and add the Brussels sprouts. Cook for 5 minutes, drain, and refresh in ice water. Drain, and set aside.
2. Heat the oil in a large heavy sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the pancetta, and sauté until it begins to turn crisp, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the garlic, and sauté, stirring, until pale gold in color, about 2 minutes.
3. Add the Brussels sprouts, raise the heat to high, and cook until heated through and beginning to brown, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add the stock, and simmer until it reduces just enough to coat the Brussels sprouts, about 3 minutes. Serve immediately.
Thanksgiving is almost here: How’s your menu planning and wine shopping shaping up?
The perennial staff favorite red wine for Thanksgiving is Kudos Willamette Valley pinot noir, and you can’t go wrong with this white wine for Thanksgiving, Albrecht “Tradition” pinot gris. Each offers a balance of fruit flavors enhanced with spice and herb aromas to deftly complement the holiday table’s traditional flavors.
Our friends at Wine Spectator Magazine have a fantastic recipe for a brined, stuffed and roasted turkey that’s both classic and delicious. In addition to these red and white wine Thanksgiving favorites, we have a bevvy of other white, red, sparkling and dessert wine picks to perfect your turkey and wine pairing.
Brining the holiday bird came into vogue in the past 10 years; far from a passing trend, it’s a tried-and-true method for a moist, juicy and flavorful turkey. The hardest part is finding enough refrigerator space for a 5-gallon container the night before Thanksgiving.
Brined, stuffed and roasted turkey
For the brine: • 1 1/2 cups kosher salt • 3 cups dark brown sugar • 2 cups honey • 1/2 bunch parsley (about 20 sprigs) • 1/2 bunch thyme (about 20 sprigs) • 1/2 bunch sage (about 10 sprigs) • 2 sprigs rosemary • 2 cinnamon sticks • 1 tablespoon black peppercorns • 2 bay leaves • 3 lemons, cut in half • 2 1/2 gallons boiling water • 1 14-pound turkey
Combine all ingredients except the boiling water in a 5-gallon, heat-proof container that is large enough to hold the turkey. Pour the boiling water over the brine ingredients and let the mixture cool to room temperature. Submerge the turkey in the brine, cover and refrigerate overnight.
For roasting the turkey: • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste • Basic bread stuffing (recipe below) • 1/4 cup butter, melted
1. Preheat the oven to 325° F.
2. Remove the turkey from the brine and rinse with cold water. Season the turkey inside and out with salt and pepper, lightly spoon the stuffing into both cavities, tie the legs together to hold in the stuffing, and brush the skin with the butter.
3. Place the turkey on a rack in a roasting pan and roast for 3 hours, turning once or twice during the cooking process to ensure even cooking. Serves 8 to 10.
For the stuffing: • 8 tablespoons butter • 4 cups peeled and chopped onion (about 3 medium onions) • 2 1/2 cups chopped celery (about 6 ribs) • 2 pounds good-quality sliced white sandwich bread • 1 3/4 cups homemade chicken broth (or 1 14-ounce can) • 2 to 2 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage leaves, or 2 to 2 1/2 teaspoons dried sage • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves • 2 teaspoons kosher salt, or to taste • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste 1. Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Increase the heat to high and add the onion. Sauté about 10 minutes, stirring periodically, until onions just start to turn brown. Lower the heat, if needed, to prevent burning. Scrape the onions into a large mixing bowl. Put another 2 tablespoons of the butter in the pan, add the celery and cook, stirring periodically, until it just starts to turn brown. Add to the onions.
2. Meanwhile, put the chicken broth in a small bowl. Lightly dip slices of bread into the broth. Squeeze out the excess moisture, then crumble the bread into the large mixing bowl with the cooked celery and onion. Season with the sage, parsley, salt and pepper, and toss well. Taste and adjust seasoning.
3. Place the pan used for cooking the celery and onions back over medium-high heat. Add half of the remaining butter. When the butter stops sizzling, add half of the stuffing. Cook, turning every few minutes with a spatula, until the bread stuffing is lightly toasted. Lower the heat if needed to prevent burning. Remove to a bowl, and then repeat with the second batch. Allow stuffing to cool.