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Thanksgiving Recipes with Wine and Hard Cider

Most people have favorite holiday dishes they serve every year. Often, they are recipes that have been handed down; or an old reliable found on the internet.

But what if you want to break tradition, just a bit? Well, you are in luck! We have a few recipe ideas that are familiar enough to not frighten off the family, while still satisfying your desire to get creative.


Ginger Apple Turkey Brine

Ginger Apple Turkey Brine Ingredients

Brining a turkey is an easy way to assure your bird stays flavorful, without drying out. The brine adds subtle flavor that will not overpower the natural flavors from your main dish.


  • 2 cups of Ginger Hard Apple Cider or 1 can of Ginger Beer

  • 4 medium size apples - sliced

  • 1 small onion - sliced

  • 2 pinches of clove

  • 1 tbsp minced garlic

  • 2 pinches of thyme

  • 4 bay leaves

  • 1/4 cup brown sugar

  • 1/4 cup ground salt

  • 1/4 cup ground pepper

  • 1 tbsp liquid smoke

  • 1 tbsp cinnamon

  • Enough water to cover your turkey in a pot or bucket

**Spice measurements are just a suggestion. Feel free to add more or less of each, to taste.

What To Do

**Brining does not take a lot of prep, but the bird will need to sit in the brine for 10-12 hrs. Be sure to allow your turkey enough time to soak in the goodness before it is oven time.

  • Slice your apples, onions, and prep any other spices you are preparing by hand. (Garlic, salt, pepper, etc...)

  • Add all ingredients except the Ginger Apple Hard Cider to a medium size pot and fill pot with water.

  • Bring to a boil, stirring until all salt and sugar have been dissolved.

  • Remove from heat and allow to cool. (Save a cup of brine for the Holiday Aroma Recipe.)

  • Add mixture to a pot or bucket large enough to cover your bird. Add in the Ginger Hard Apple Cider, your thawed, clean turkey, and fill with water.

  • Place pot in the refrigerator or a chilled cooler for 10-12 hrs.

  • Rinse turkey, dry, then stuff and cook as usual.


Holiday Home Aroma Recipe

Now that your turkey is brining, you can add a bit of holiday spirit to the air by re-purposing some of your brine and ingredients. Place a small pot on the stovetop, add the salvaged brine, and fill with water.

Place the heat to simmer and allow the aroma to fill your home. You can add water and ingredients to keep the scent lasting for several hours. Feel free to toss in a few more spices or ingredients from other dishes (like pears from the Baked Pear recipe below!)


Red Wine Risotto with Mushrooms

Cabernet Franc and Mushrooms

Risotto can easily be filling enough for a meal but when split between a large gathering, it makes for a savory side dish that adds an unexpected twist to your holiday meal.


  • 1 cup arborio rice

  • 12 oz of thinly sliced mushrooms (we suggest a blend of varieties)

  • 1 cup of finely chopped onion

  • 2 tbsp butter

  • 1 tbsp olive oil

  • 4 cups chicken broth

  • 1 tbsp minced garlic

  • 1 tsp ground salt

  • 1 tsp ground pepper

**Spice measurements are just a suggestion. Feel free to add more or less of each, to taste.

What To Do

  • Slice your mushrooms, chop onions, and prep any other spices you are preparing by hand. (Garlic, salt, pepper, etc...)

  • In a small saucepan, begin simmering the chicken broth.

  • In a medium saucepan, use med-low heat to melt the oil and butter together. Add the spices, mushrooms, onions and garlic and cook until soft.

  • Add rice to the onions and garlic and stir slowly for 2-3 minutes. Rice should be coated and starting to crisp.

  • Add 1 cup of red wine to the rice. Allow heat to reduce wine until almost gone. Add the next cup and reduce again.

  • Slowly begin adding the heated broth, 1/2 cup at a time. Stir constantly, allowing the sauce to thicken as the broth is added. If you run out of broth, you can use water until sauce is creamy and rice is firm to the bite.


Baked Pears with Hard Cider Syrup

No, you don't have to give up on your traditional Thanksgiving pies. But why not try adding a fun, light option for dessert as well?


  • 2 cups of Hard Pear Cider

  • 4 pears

  • 1/2 cup walnuts

  • 1 cup brown sugar

  • 2 tbsp cinnamon

  • 3 tbsp light corn syrup

  • 1 tbsp butter

What To Do

  • Preaheat oven to 350°F

  • Core and halve the pears

  • Place on baking sheet, skin side down. Fill with walnuts and sprinkle with 1/2 tbsp cinnamon

  • Bake for 30 minutes

  • In a medium saucepan; heat the Hard Pear Cider, brown sugar, corn syrup, and remaining cinnamon over medium heat.

  • In about 15 minutes, the syrup mixture will start to thicken and reduce. Remove from heat and stir in the butter. Allow to cool until pears are removed from the oven.

  • Top pears with syrup and serve.


***Don't forget the wine and ciders for drinking! Stop by our tasting room and select your favorite from our Maryland Winery, in St. Michaels, MD.

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