A Holiday About Food and Family
Thanksgiving needs a turkey, and some good wine.
Ah, Thanksgiving. There's the traffic, the weather, the football, the family, and the meal. It seems no other holiday revolves so much around food.
But Concord is fortunate to have everything needed for a perfect meal right at hand and still available.
Michael Dulock, owner of Concord Prime and Fish, said while he doesn't eat turkey very much throughout the year, he wouldn't want to eat anything else on Thanksgiving.
"It's not a Thanksgiving table without turkey," said Dulock as he prepares beef tenderloin in the back of his butcher shop. He said he lost count of how many customers pre-ordered turkeys, but it was at least 100. He gets them from a farm in Pennsylvania, he said.
"They are organic or free range," said Dulock.
He also sells a fair amount of venison, goose and capon for the Thursday holiday.
"It's one meal you don't mess with," said Dulock.
At Concord Provisions, butcher Clint Moreau boned a turkey to place in the meat case, while filling orders for at least 85 turkeys, an increase from last year. Moreau has a few turkeys left at 14 lbs. or 30 lbs. "Just a few left," he said.
The Mandrioli brothers at the West Concord Supermarket have birds left as well.
"We are still taking orders," said Paul Mandrioli. He's pre-sold about 120 turkeys so far. The most popular size is in the 20-22 lb. range, he said.
"There are plenty of good fresh turkeys left," said Mandrioli. He gets his from farms in South Carolina and Minnesota. But he said people make all kinds of other dishes as well as the traditional turkey and stuffing.
"Some people make lasagna, beef roasts, goose, capons, everything," said Mandrioli.
To accompany the fowl, vintners say Pinot Gris or Pinot Noir are popular choices.
Chris Saia of West Concord Wine and Spirits said turkey needs "wine with a good amount of fruit, call it fruit forward, and good balance."
"Wine is for Thanksgiving, liquor is for Christmas," said Rich Smith, Saia's colleague on the floor of the expanded shop in the West Concord Plaza.
Smith said beer is still popular for watching football, but wine is for dining.
Saia said the turkey is a drier meat than steak, so it "needs a fruitier wine." He recommends Pinot Gris from Oregon or a Beaujolais Nouveau, "released this time of year."
He said they are both light and fruity red wines. "You don't want to overpower the meal," said Saia. He also recommended Pinot Noir or a Reisling.
Michael Taranto of Nine Acre Wine agreed. He said Pinot Noir from Oregon is a big seller or a white Pinot Gris also from Oregon. But he said the economy is playing a role.
"People want inexpensive wines," said Taranto. "It's the state of the economy. My $10 to $13 bottles are the most popular.