Butterball’s Turkey Talk-line is, of course, legendary. It was started 29 years ago by the giant turkey company to help frantic cooks deal with the frightening task of cooking the large bird for the first time — or the 10th. That first year six home economists answered 11,000 calls.
Now there are 50 professional economists and nutritionists answering more than 100,000 questions about thawing the turkey, checking to see if it’s done, what to do if it’s still frozen, and how to cook the stuffing so you don’t send your family to the emergency room.
Less well known, and not dealing with things quite as life-threatening, is the Loew’s Hotels Wine Line, which the hotelier, owners of Portofino Bay, Royal Pacific and Hard Rock Hotel locally, is operating now through New Year’s Eve.
It’s also not technically a line. If you have questions about wine — what wine to serve with dinner, how to store, how to chill or whatever — you can send an e-mail request to [email protected] and a certified sommelier will answer you within 24 hours. Not much help in an emergency, but if you’re frantic because you need to know the fastest way to thaw a pinot noir, you’re probably beyond help.
(For the record, Butterball is encouraging e-mail inquiries to its talk-line, too.)
To help get you started, the Loew’s Hotels team have put together this list of recommended wines for holiday dining.
Chardonnay, A by Acadia $13 — Monterey, golden color, with hints of apple and cinnamon – very light Chardonnay that pairs well with poultry and seafood
Chenin Blanc Dry Creek Vineyards $11 — Light and crisp with lemon – pairs well with poultry and seafood
Domaine des Aubuisieres Bernard Fouquet Vouvray Cuvee de Silex, 2007 $17 — Contemporary version of an Old-World style – pairs well with seafood and richer dishes
Viognier Alban Vineyards, Edna Valley $22 — Deep yellow color, perfume and long finish – pairs well with holiday style food especially turkey
Viognier Anglim Winery, Paso Robles $24 — High color with floral accents of honeysuckle, white melons, apricots and peaches - pairs well with turkey
Villa Pilo Toscana Borgofote 2006 $12 — Excellent value, drier style – pairs well with veal and lamb
Cabernet Sauvignon Sterling, Napa $19 — Dark ruby color, spicy with hints of chocolate – pairs well with beef
Syrah Havens, Paso Robles $18 — Meaty character, mocha-coffee and peppery spring to its finish on the palate – pairs well with beef
Domaine Chandon Brut $15 — Fresh and lively with a hint of pear, fig and honeysuckle. Recommended as an apéritif
Gloria Ferrer $15 — Versatile wine with a touch of vanilla and plenty of acidity
Piper-Heidsieck Brut $35 — Crisp with a light brioche-style finish
Taittinger $42 — Complex with a nice bouquet of peaches and tropical fruit with a dry finish