Washington Wine Recommendations for Thanksgiving Dinner

Even though Thanksgiving is tomorrow, I know there are a lot of you still scrambling to do your shopping. I’ll be a guest for Thanksgiving dinner this year, although I will be doing a post-holiday feast on Friday.

Instead of dithering around in the wine section or store, I turned to some of my wine-loving friends for recommendations on Washington wines pairings with a traditional Thanksgiving dinner.

I always like a little bubbly to start things off, whether it’s to accompany appetizers or conversation. There’s just something festive about it. If you’ve got a crowd, opt for the super-affordable Michele Brut Rose (around $11). Made from Pinot Noir grapes, it has nice acidity and balanced flavors of apple, melon, apricot, and raspberry.

If you’ll have fewer people, or have a larger budget, step up to a 2010 Karma Vineyards Brut (around $50) from Lake Chelan. This bubbly features flavors of apples and bear complemented with the aroma of rising bread dough and lightly toasted hazelnut and is a nice splurge.

Now let’s get on to the main course!

Valen Dawson is a food and drink writer and recommends the Rasa Vineyards QED Walla Walla Valley 2008 (around $50). This earthy Syrah blend has flavors of blackberry and citrus, orange and spice. It has a big body, and it pairs perfectly with a smoked turkey or a turkey that’s been roasted with a bit of black truffle oil. Valen used to live across the border in Portland and if you’re headed that way, you may find her post on not to be missed Portland restaurants helpful.

Sarah Hughes, a travel blogger who recently launched a new site about Pacific Northwest wine, beer, and spirits, says she strongly prefers red wines. Her recommendation comes from her recent trip wine tasting trip to Walla Walla – Mary’s Block Malbec from Flying Trout (around $45), with notes of black pepper, dark compote fruits, and a hint of cherry.

Penny Sadler is a travel and wine writer who recommends Amavi Semillon (around $24). Crisp with good acidity, but full bodied and creamy, she suggests this white wine will pairs well with lots of different foods from appetizers to the bird and side dishes. If you’re new or uncertain about wine, Penny’s article about how to approach wine tasting contains helpful advice.

Thanksgiving dessert, often pumpkin pie, often get short shrift when it comes to the wine pairing. I turned to another food and wine writer friend for these suggestions. Because of the nature of her writing, she prefers to remain uncredited, but here are her Washington port recommendations.

With pumpkin pie, she recommends two options:  Rainy Day Fine Tawny Port (around $45) from Hinzerling Vineyards. This tawny port has a distinct nutty quality, some chocolate and cherry overtones, and a beautiful tawny color.  Her other recommendation is Kestral Vintners 2012 Signature Series Port (around $35). Jam aromas of blackberry, huckleberry and pie notes are complemented with oak, tobacco, and licorice at the end.

I’d love to know what Washington wines you’ll be serving for Thanksgiving. Leave your favorites in a comment.

And pin this to your favorite wine and holiday boards. You’ll want to refer back to it for other holidays and next year.

I turned to some of my wine-loving friends for recommendations on Washington wines pairings with a traditional Thanksgiving dinner.

Disclosure:  This post contains some affiliate links.

2 Comments Add yours

  1. I’ve tasted malbec around Mendoza, Argentina and must admit that I had no idea it is also produced in Washington State. I clicked over to Penny Sadler’s post about how to approach wine tasting. I’ve pinned it to review before my next wine tasting adventure although I was a little sad to learn you’re supposed to spit it out. Thanks for that share. The next time I’m in one of our state run package stores, I’ll look to see if they carry Washington State wines.

    1. True confessions time. I don’t spit it out. But I don’t drink a full pour either. I’ve found that three sips is about what I need to form an opinion during a tasting at a winery. Let me know what Washington wines you find and like!

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