This time of year, the question is what to drink with Thanksgiving dinner.
There are all kinds of options, none of which are wrong, but some work better than others. It’s a big meal, with a lot of things going on, which makes pairing tricky. Then there is the delicate issue of just how big your dinner will be and how much to spend - if it’s a large party of big drinkers you might want something less expensive a bottle, while a small party would be a very appropriate place to bring out a special bottle. Also, some people hold that as an American holiday one should drink American - this year we can embrace that limitation.
Given the complexities and richness of the traditional Thanksgiving dinner, dry rose is the first place I would go. Rose has had a bad rap as a sweet, forgettable summer wine, but the good ones are incredibly versatile, ranging from just barely salmon pink to dark red and mouthwatering acidity that brings food to life. You can’t go wrong, either with our local roses, or Brooks rose of Pinot Noir, with bright red fruit and a hint of spritz, or Populis, a dry-farmed Carignane with its minerally, savory finish.
My next choice as an all-around Thanksgiving wine choice would be Pinot Noir. It’s finicky to grow, but when everything works there is no better food wine produced in this country. The Minimus white label leans towards blackberry notes while the Brooks Runaway Red has more red fruit and cola notes. The Jackalope Cellars 2016 and Native’s Lea’s Vineyard are both stunning, approachable examples, with the Jackalope leaning a bit earthier and the Native a bit softer and more inviting.
The Italians have a special way with food and wine and we have a couple of noteworthy Northwest wines from Italian grapes. Montinores Rosso di Marchesi is a wild northern Italian-style blend with rich wild berry fruit, notes of forest floor and medium body with good tannins. The Idiot’s Grace Dolcetto is a picture-perfect rendition of one of the most delightful grapes out there. Choose one of these if you want a bigger red than Pinot Noir.
For whites, I want to point you to some slightly richer, less well-known bottles. Illahe’s 2018 viognier has stone fruit, gravel and a hint of pepper with great acidity and just a touch off-dry, to go with those almost sweet notes of squash and butter, while Memaloose Trevitt’s white is a Rhone-style blend, with fresh white flowers, peach, pear, and a lightly rich body.
Finally, there is nothing more traditional than drinking hard cider with the Thanksgiving meal. I would suggest dry or just off-dry, unflavored bottles from any of our producers. Westcott bay is the cleanest in flavor profile, Boathouse tends to have a somewhat richer mouthfeel from the saison yeast they use, Madrone has several different blends of bone dry champagne-style ciders and Art and Science creates wonderfully wild pear and apple ciders. Pick the style you prefer, or try a few different bottles to find out, there are no bad choices with any of them.
15% off all Rose, Pinot Noir, Cider and Montinore Rosso di Marchesi, Idiot’s Grace Dolcetto, Illahe Viognier, and Memaloose Trevitt’s White.
- PLUS -
10% off mixed cases for the month of November.