Sandra’s Thanksgiving Turkey

“I have been making this turkey for about 10 years now! We have experimented with everything from brining, to pressure cooking, to frying — you name it. And this, hands down, is always a winner. The cheesecloth and wine idea was adapted from an old Martha Stewart recipe, but over the years I have tweaked this enough — like adding crumbled bacon — that I can now call it my own. Oh, and if you want a specific wine suggestion I will say that last year I used a Gewürztraminer and it was so yummy that I am using it again!” – Sandra, Twin Marketing


  • One 18-20 pound fresh whole turkey, giblets and neck removed from cavity (freeze for future use)
  • 1 ½ cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, melted
  • 4 tablespoons salted butter, room temperature
  • One 750-ml bottle dry aromatic white wine. Alsace works nicely.
  • Veggie broth to stretch the butter/wine mixture if needed
  • 2-3 tablespoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper
  • Root veggies to line the pan: carrots, celery, onions
  • Onions and lemons quartered and herbs to stuff the cavity (sage & thyme)
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 lb. thick sliced cooked bacon crumbled (optional, for garnish)
  • Parsley minced


  • Rinse turkey with cool water and dry with paper towels. Let stand for 2 hours at room temperature.
  • Place oven rack on lowest level and preheat oven to 450°F.
  • Combine melted butter and white wine in a saucepan on the stovetop.
  • Fold a large piece of cheesecloth into quarters and cut it into a 17-inch, 4-layer square. Immerse the cheesecloth in the butter and wine; let soak.
  • Place turkey, breast side up, on a roasting rack in a heavy metal roasting pan. If the turkey comes with a pop-up timer, remove it; an instant-read thermometer is a much more accurate indication of doneness. Fold wing tips under turkey.
  • Sprinkle some of the salt and pepper inside turkey and stuff with onion, lemon and herbs. Tie legs together loosely with kitchen string. Fold neck flap under and secure it with toothpicks.
  • Rub turkey with the softened butter (go between the skin and meat on the breasts) and generously salt and pepper. Take care to get into all the crevices.
  • Lift the cheesecloth out of liquid, and squeeze it slightly, leaving it very damp. Spread damp cheesecloth evenly over the breast and as far down the sides of the turkey as you can get it.
  • Place turkey, legs first, in the oven and cook for 45 minutes at 450°F. (If your turkey won’t fit legs first, place it sideways, but remember to rotate it a few times.) Using a ladle, baste cheesecloth and exposed parts of turkey with butter and wine mixture.
  • Reduce oven temperature to 350°F and continue to cook for 2 ½ more hours, basting every 30 minutes and watching pan juices. If the pan gets too full of juices, spoon out excess and reserve for gravy.
  • After the third hour of cooking, carefully remove and discard cheesecloth. Turn the roasting pan so that the breast is facing the back of the oven (unless you’re cooking sideways) and baste turkey with pan juices. If there are not enough juices, continue to use butter and wine. The skin gets fragile as it browns, so baste carefully. Cook 1 more hour, basting after 30 minutes.
  • After the fourth hour of cooking, insert an instant-read thermometer into the thickest parts of the thigh and breast, but do not touch bone. The deepest part of the THIGH temperature should reach 170-175°F. If not to temp then baste turkey, return to oven, and cook another 20 to 30 minutes.
  • When ready, gently transfer turkey to a clean pan lined with foil and wrap it nicely allowing some air to escape so it doesn’t keep “cooking” too much. Let the turkey rest before carving for anywhere from 1½ to 2½ hours.
  • While the roasting pan is still hot, discard the root veggies and drain the pan liquid into a fat separator. Place pan over low flame and add flour while whisking. Whisk to create a roux and brown to your liking, anywhere from Burnt Sienna to Dark Chocolate. Then, add the juices from the fat separator with any wine and butter mixture. Whisk until well combined and pour into a glass container to reserve for garnishing. (It will separate, so mix it up again prior to serving.)
  • When the turkey is carved, use the gravy/pan concentrate to pour all over the carved bird letting it soak into all the meat. Then serve with Williams Sonoma gravy base on the side for folks who want more gravy.

Carving tips:

  • Remove as much skin as you can and slice up the removed skin. Broil it with the cooked bacon to add even more crispiness.
  • When carving the breast, take the whole breast off the bird first and then cut the breast on the bias. It’s much tenderer that way.
  • Once the bird is carved and placed on the platter with pan concentrate or gravy is poured, sprinkle the whole platter with crispy turkey skin and/or bacon and garnish with parsley for some color and present.


  • 1  1/2 oz still rosé wine
  • 1/2 oz simple syrup
  • 1 3/4 oz silver tequila, 100% agave
  • 1/2 oz fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 oz fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 oz strawberry juice
  • salted rim

Shake all ingredients with ice and strain over new ice into a coup glass with salted rim.

Garnish with strawberry!

Fall Creek Grilled Pork Loin with Rosemary Breadcrumb Coating

  • 6 ½ lb. Pork Loin
  • ¼ c. Fall Creek Wine Foods Chenin Blanc Mustard or other coarse grain mustard
  • 2 T. canola oil
  • ¼ c. FALL CREEK Vineyards Granite Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Sea salt and fresh cracked pepper
  • olive oil for basting

1.  Trim off silver skin and any excess fat from pork loin and cut the length of the pork loin into two equal portions.

2.  Whisk together mustard and oil.  Brush mixture on all surfaces of two pieces of pork..  Salt and pepper meat.

3.  Place meat on hot grill for approximately 8 minutes to sear and brown.  Turn meat over on grill and baste with wine/oil/mustard mixture.  Grill 2nd side approximately 8 minutes; meat should be pink when removed from fire. Turn meat as needed to prevent charring.

Breadcrumb Coating:

  • 5 T. fresh rosemary, finely minced
  • 2 c. breadcrumbs
  • 4 T. garlic, finely minced
  • 5 T. olive oil

 1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2.  Combine rosemary, breadcrumbs, garlic and olive oil; put meat in roasting pan and pat mixture on top of both pieces of pork loin.

3.  Put meat in oven and roast approximately 10-15 minutes until slightly pale pink.  Remove from oven and let sit for 5 minutes before carving.

Susan Auler, co-owner of Fall Creek Vineyards, developed this recipe.

Pair with Fall Creek Vineyards Granite Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon or  Fall Creek Vineyards Chardonnay

Serves 10 – 12 persons


Recipe developed by Susan Auler, co-owner of  FALL CREEK Vineyards

Fall Creek Avocado Soup

Avocado Soup with Minced Tomatoes and Chipotle Cream

Avocado Soup:

  • 2 peeled avocados, sliced
  • 1 green onion (white part only), sliced
  • 1 ½ cups boiling water with 2 chicken bouillon cubes dissolved
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • 1 cup half-and-half
  • 2 T. Fall Creek Vineyards Sauvignon Blanc
  • salt to taste

Chipotle Cream:

  • 2 Chipotle peppers (in adobo sauce)
  • ½ sour cream
  • green onion tops sliced very thin

1. Combine ingredients in blender and puree until smooth.
2. Chill for minimum 2 hours.
3. Combine chipotle peppers and sour cream in Cuisinart and blend well.
4. Garnish with Chipotle Cream and green onion tops sliced very thin.

This recipe was developed by Susan Auler, co-owner of Fall Creek Vineyards, and it is a perfect match with Fall Creek Vineyards Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling or Chenin Blanc.

Yield: 4 cups of soup Serves 4-6

Fall Creek Vineyards Pear & Lemon Custard Tart

Tart Crust

  • 12 T. (1 ½ cup) unsalted butter
  • 1 ½ cups plus 2 T. all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup light brown sugar
  • ½ tsp salt
  • Sprinkle of cold water

 Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Slice butter into a dozen or more pieces into food processor.  Add flour, brown sugar and salt; process all ingredients until consistency of oatmeal.  Sprinkle cold water over crust mixture if needed to bring together in a ball while processor is pulsing.  Empty mixture into tart pan and spread evenly over pan, patting smooth on bottom and forming crust on sides of tart pan.  Bake tart in middle of oven for 10 minutes until light brown.  Remove tart crust and reduce oven to 300 degrees.

Lemon Custard with Pears

  • 5 large eggs
  • 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cups fresh lemon juice (3 large lemons) and zest
  • 3 crisp pears
  • 3 T. confectioners’ sugar
  • Blueberries or raspberries for garnish

In bowl whisk together eggs and sugar mixed with flour until combined well.  Stir in lemon juice and pour mixture over hot pie crust, after it is removed from oven. Peel and slice pears and toss with lemon zest.  Place pear slices in concentric circles around custard filling in tart crust and dust with confectioners’ sugar. Bake tart in middle of the oven until custard is set, about 30-35 minutes.  Garnish with blueberries or raspberries and serve.

Serve with Twin Springs Sweet White Wine.

Recipe developed by Susan Auler, co-owner of  FALL CREEK Vineyards

Fall Creek ED’s Blue Cheese Slaw with Fuji Apples

  • ¼ head red cabbage, shredded (approximately 1 ½ cups)
  • 1 head of Napa cabbage, shredded with hearts removed (approximately 4 – 5 cups)
  • ¾ tsp. sea salt
  • ½ tsp. coarsely ground black pepper
  • 8 T. olive oil
  • 4 T. apple cider vinegar
  • 2 T. Balsamic vinegar
  • 1 T. FALL CREEK Chenin Blanc Mustard
  • 3 T. sugar
  • 1 Fuji apple, cored, sliced and cut in thin sticks
  • 8 oz. crumbled blue cheese

 Finely shred both cabbages by slicing with sharp knife.  In large bowl whisk the rest of the ingredients, except the apples and blue cheese, until dressing is well blended. Keep apple sticks in acidulated water to keep from turning brown. Toss dressing with cabbage just before serving and add/crumbled blue cheese and apples, tossing well.

Optional presentation: serve in small tortilla cups that have been deep fried in peanut oil; top with grilled fish or chicken.

Serves 8 as salad course or grilled fish or chicken may be added on top for a heartier first course.

Wine Pairing:  Fall Creek Vineyards Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc.

 This recipe was developed by Ed Auler, co-owner of Fall Creek Vineyards, as he enjoys eating all kinds of slaw several times a week.