For Christmas, my daughter pleaded, could we please have turkey stuffing made without nuts or bell peppers? She can’t eat those ingredients, and she had been thinking about stuffing ever since Thanksgiving. She had to avoid the wonderful stuffing made with green peppers our friends served at the Thanksgiving dinner we attended. Since it was just she, my wife and I for Christmas, I didn’t want to roast a whole turkey, so I got a quart of turkey broth made at my local grocery and used it in a simple stuffing of leeks, herbs and green apples to bake separately from a turkey breast.
Finding a wine match is easy with these flavors. They open the door to virtually anything in the cellar, from delicate white wines to rich reds. I found a bottle of Jim Barry Shiraz Clare Valley The Armagh 2002, one of my wife’s favorites, and it did not disappoint. The vivid balance, with lively acidity typical of the 2002 vintage in South Australia, played against expansive flavors of cherry, blackberry, licorice, warm slate and a shelf full of exotic spices. The wine had grandeur, depth and pinpoint balance. 95 points, non-blind, a true classic Aussie Shiraz.
Not only was it lovely with the turkey and leek-apple dressing, but those licorice notes in the wine found a terrific affinity with a side dish of fresh fennel bulb simmered in buttermilk.