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The Foodie Column

Wine for your turkey day feast

Dreams of a Tryptophan-induced after dinner nap may be dancing in your head. But before you get cuddly, consider choosing the right libations to accompany your Thanksgiving feast.

The big bird and fixin's is a tough meal with which to pair wines. There are so many flavors on the plate: Savory and sweet, tart and creamy.

If you're perplexed, rejoice and be thankful for simple solutions.

First, seriously, drink what you like. Prefer Cabernet from South America? sip away. Have a sweet tooth that only Moscato will cure? SalutÉ!

But if you've got a wine geek or two attending dinner, stay in the middle of the road with flavors versus varietals. For nearly a universal lovefest, put a Riesling like Seaglass from California or nearly any Mosel-originated Riesling on the table and you've got a winner. Remember, Rieslings are slightly sweet - fruity really - with nice acid to keep your taste buds alert.

RosÉs of all sorts pair across the meal. RosÉ today is not the super-sweet wine of yesterday, but a bright, acidic juice. There are some real bargains rosÉs as well.

Reds more your thing? Spanish Tempranillo, Aussie Shiraz and Oregon Pinot Noir are all viable choices. Count on the helpful clerks at area package stores to help you fine tune your selections.

Making the bird and more
Click into my website for recipes and techniques to create a full Thanksgiving meal, including smoked turkey. To get the recipes, the menu, a shipping list and a cue sheet, click to

Family favorite

With families returning to town, there's sure to be a call to dine at least once at Victory Drive landmark Johnny Harris Restaurant.

Over the past several months, the restaurant has done some major sprucing up, greatly expanded the craft beer list (both draft and bottle) and grown up the wine list. The menu is more streamlined and puts attention back on the restaurant's signature barbecue, batterless fried chicken and Brunswick stew. On a recent trip, I was very satisfied with a piled high smoked chicken sandwich and a burger that rivals many of the best bar burgers in the city.

Don't forget the coconut pie!

Holding course

Byrd's Cookie Bar & Grill lost its founding chef but is holding steady on its small but imaginative little menu. The restaurant now takes the entire space and retail cookie and gift sales have moved down the hall.

Last week, I truly enjoyed a beautiful to look at and pleasing to eat cheese board. There are a variety of ways to order the board - a little or a lot. The cheeses and cured meats on the menu are carefully chosen and represent what is likely the best cheese board in Savannah. The small wine and beer list is plenty for the menu and lend to an elegant feeling late lunch or dinner out in the near Southside.