Beat the Credit Crunch With Your Christmas Turkey and Wine

According to the Daily Mail the credit crunch is having an effect on our Christmas turkey as Christmas turkeys will cost an astonishing £70 for a 22lb (10kg) bird this year – that’s 75% more than last year. However the British Turkey website says that the average weight of a Christmas turkey is 12lb (5.5kg) so the £70 headline is misleading.

Considering that the standard turkey can make at least 3 meals you do get a lot of bird for your money. I thought it might be useful to share some recipes and tips with you on how to make the most of your Christmas meals over the next few weeks so look out for my blogs on beating the credit crunch this Christmas.

Firstly, let’s deal with the turkey. Most of us will be buying a frozen turkey – 2 out of every 3 whole birds sold last December were frozen. So why not buy early and beat the price hike? You can use shopping comparison sites to check prices – I did a quick check at (it’s free to register) and a 9.7lb (4.4 kg) turkey is cheapest at Sainsburys at £10.00, both Asda and Tescos coming in at £14.70.

If you prefer your turkey fresh then you can always visit your local butcher and see if you can do a deal – why not buy all your Christmas meats there and ask for a discount?

Secondly let’s deal with the wine. I have slashed prices at our wine shop and all wines are now Free Delivery until Christmas. The cheapest wines I have on offer are both the red and white Brissonet at £3.15 – that’s £37.79 for a case of 12 with no hidden prices.

You’ll find that all the wines at my shop are superb value and superb quality – unlike some retailers I do not entertain selling anything I would not enjoy drinking myself on a regular basis.

There are a range of wines to suit every pocket which I would recommend to have with your Christmas turkey. Continuing with the red wines there is the Château Puyanché 2004 at £5.99.

It’s from the Côtes de Castillon which is now the most fashionable of all the Bordeaux satellites and is a fabulous source of some tremendous value wines with some of Bordeaux’s most talented wine producers setting up shop in the area.

The Puyanché has been picked up by the British wine press and received good reviews. It’s a dark garnet colour with the aromas of blackberry and plum compotés, leather and spices. Château Puyanché is a supple, aromatic and complex wine, well balanced and silky.

Going up in price there are two new discoveries that I found in Bordeaux earlier this year: Le Roc du Château Pellebouc 2006 at £8.75 and Château Pessan 2005 at £12.99Le Roc du Château Pellebouc comes from the Entre deux Mers and is owned by Pascale and Baudouin Thienpont – members of the famous wine making family who own Le Pin (one of the most expensive and sought after wines in the world) and manage several other top flight châteaux.

The wine is a Gold Medal winner and it’s a superb wine. It has a deep, intense purple colour, with a scent of red fruits and spicier notes. In the mouth, it is quite powerful in terms of both roundness and balance.

The Château Pessan is of the fantastic 2005 vintage and hails from Graves – which is often considered to be the birthplace of claret.

The château is owned by the Comtes de Bournazel who have 400 years of wine making experience. It is a deliciously velvety wine, deep and dense, perfectly balanced with hints of black fruits, spice, coffee, smoke, eucalyptus, pepper and oak. The wine is a superb buy and is starting to attract attention on the world market.

If you prefer white wine with your turkey then Domaine de Ricaud Bordeaux Blanc 2005 is a good choice. This wine is surprisingly only £5.49 and it gives other more prestigious and expensive white wines a run for their money.

It’s produced from the Entre deux Mers region not far away from Cadillac. The aromas from this slightly pale, golden coloured, slightly pearlante, easy drinking white, are all of ripe soft fruits and summer blossoms. It has complex flavours of juicy apricots and exotic fruits.

Bold and long on the palate, balanced and harmonious in the mouth it has well balanced acidity and one glass will simply not be enough!

At the other end of the price range there is the M de Malle 2005 £11.99 – a fabulous dry white Graves wine from the vineyards of the Second Growth (2ème Cru) Château de Malle, owned by the Comtes de Bournazel. It’s a beautiful wine: bold, brilliant green tinted gold with hints of white blossoms, exotic fruits, spice and with good lemon acidity.

Any of these wines will compliment your Christmas Turkey. The secret of a prepared turkey is not to over cook it. Have you ever carved one and the breast meat seems to crumble as you carve?. . . well sorry to say that is a result over cooking it.

Whatever method you use take a few minutes off per pound of cooking time and let the bird stand for at least 30 mins before carving this will enable it to rest and hopefully you will have a nice juicy bird to carve into. Enjoy!

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