Under and around the mounds of food on your Thanksgiving table, what will you be offering or bringing to drink? Wine is often the first choice, but it doesn’t have to be the only choice. Just for fun, I whipped up a mock Thanksgiving dinner and put a number of wines and two beers to the taste test for big day.
I cooked up a quick mock Thanksgiving dinner of citrus herb run turkey breast, garlic mashed potatoes, green beans with orange and toasted hazelnuts, sweet potatoes with un-crystallized ginger and pomegranate seeds and cranberry orange relish. Since I was making it for two, was streamlined for minimal effort and maximal leftover potential. Your own Thanksgiving dinner make be much more elaborate, sweet, creamier, saucier, less traditional or meat free.
I opened four bottles of wine specifically for this pairing and I has two additional open bottles of wine and the beer available for the pairing.
Thanksgiving Washington Wines
Lauren Ashton Cellars 2013 Rosé
The pink wine for grown ups. This Washington wine boasts high acid with lots of strawberry notes on this elegant rosé. It is bone dry which is the major factor in pairing. The rosé wine pairs wells with turkey and it’s citrus herb rub. It stood up well to the sweet potatoes just dressed with with uncrystallized ginger and pomegranate seeds and was tasty paired with the citrus green beans. However, the sweeter, gooier dishes of Thanksgiving will overwhelm the fruit of this restrained rosé.
Tempus Cellars 2013 Reisling Evergreen Vineyard
Fall apple and pear on the nose of this Washington Riesling. Tart granny smith upfront than slight jolly rancher mid palate than back to more granny smith notes. The acid is very food friendly but the bone dryness of this wine will not marry as well with the really sweet Thanksgiving dishes. This wines is going to elevate clean, crisp, dishes that are lightly sauced. The turkey, the beans and the potatoes were all happy being paired with this very crisp Riesling.
Buty 2012 Chardonnay Conner Lee Vineyard
The Buty Chardonnay boasts a crisp fruity nose, predominantly apple. This med bodied wine is crisp yet the mouth feel is almost luxurious at the same time. It is hard to explain, but I want to keep drinking it.
The Chardonnay is delicious with the herb rub turkey. It is my favorite turkey pairing so far as it elevates both the wine and the turkey and somehow makes the turkey seem moister. It is no surprise that the wine isn’t as successful with sweeter sweet potato dish or cranberry orange relish but it works well with the beans and mashed.
Fall Line 2011 Red Wine Boushey Vineyard
The Fall Line red wine blend is bursting with black fruit, leather, black cherry, graphite on the nose. Tart cassis and black cherry greet you upfront on this Washington wine.
Although most don’t think red wine for turkey, this red wine blend proved extremely food friendly on our test Thanksgiving dinner, surprising me with how well it paired with with the ginger, pomegranate dressed sweet potatoes. It paired deliciously with and without a bit of the uncrystalized ginger. The turkey, the beans and garlicky mashed potatoes were all winners. The only thumbs down was the cranberry orange sauce. Winner, winner, turkery dinner!
I had a bottle of Icicle Ridge Winery The Blonde Gewurztraminer open, it paired well with all of the dishes and is a house favorite. A good Gewurztraminer is never out of place on the Thanksgiving table. Shelly Fitzgerald at Downtown Spirits recommends Domaine Pouillion Gewurztraminer Try the Treveri Cellars Sparkling Gewurtztraminer for something fun and unusual!
Pinot Gris may not be the first thought but it can have its place at your Thanksgiving table, especially if you tend to be as citrus-centric as I am. Originally designed to pair with an asian pear and persimmion salad Saturday night, the Maryhill Winery Pinot gris and sald was just as tasty on Sunday. The Washington Pinot gris worked with the other citrus dishes like the green beans and the citrus rub turkey.
Although I didn’t make a dessert for my mock dinner, I am sure you will have dessert at yours! Shelly recommends Chateau Ste Michelle Eroica Riesling Ice Wine and I couldn’t disagree.
Think of your seasonings, then think of your wines.
Thanksgiving Washington Beer
The Prunus has a copious head, it overflows the top of the bottle , the lip of your glass and runs down the side. The provencal style herbs are almost as bountiful. The herbaceous aromatics make it the hop aromatics play hide and go seek but Ed and both detected Belgian style yeast but no cherry on the nose. The cherry comes on the palate. The wild cherry is delightfully tart sweet and stars mid palate. The herbs are bookends: front and back. I imagine the IBUs are very low on this beer which will make the hops heads cry but will ensure that the beer won’t steal your palate. The Prunus paired well with all of the food on my plate and I have a feeling it would do exceptionally well at a vegetarian Thanksgiving table.
Black Raven Festivus
The Festivus is one of Black Raven’s holiday ales. It is available in 22oz bottles but I was drinking mine from the growler. Perfect for a table full of thirsty family members! The Festivus full of fruit and spice with plenty of hop balance. That malty sweetness will come out to dance with you marshmallow topped sweet potato casserole, one of the very few beverages listed in this article that can. The hops are balanced so take a bite of those mashed potatoes and gravy and you will forget that hops was the major taste in your mouth a sip ago. A bite of green beans casserole and you will be ready for another sip of Festivus.