It’s Thanksgiving, don’t let wine selection add to your worries

Thanksgiving is a time to enjoy family, give thanks, and – dare I say it – stress over the idea of creating the perfect holiday meal.  Don’t let wine selection add to your worries.

The best choice for a wine that will pair with all the elements of a classic holiday dinner is one with ample fruit flavors.  For us in the Yakima Valley, this criterion offers the perfect excuse to drink local. Wines from this region tend to be fruit forward, a perfect characteristic for Thanksgiving.  The first thing to make clear is: There is no right or wrong wine to serve.

The Sparklers
A great sparkling wine makes any event special. Serve as a starter while guests arrive, and if there is any left when dinner begins, put it on the table. Sparklers are a great choice for drinking with turkey, stuffing, and potatoes.
Treveri Cellars Sparkling Gewürztraminer $17.00
14 Hands Winery Sparkling Brut Ros
é $15.00

The Whites:
To enhance the flavors of your holiday feast, look for refreshing white wines that have well-balanced acidity and fruit flavors.

Classic White:
Chardonnay is a popular, versatile and easy choice for Thanksgiving dinner. Its full mouthfeel and creaminess stands up to the richness of the traditional menu. Look for a Chardonnay described as lightly oaked with apple, pear or citrus flavors.
Chinook Wines 2015 Chardonnay, Yakima Valley $19.99
Côte Bonneville 2015 Chardonnay, Yakima Valley $50.00

The Easy-Drinking White:
Riesling is wonderfully aromatic and lighter-bodied. Its crisp acidity and flavors of stone fruit and pear serves as a contrast to the savory flavors of Thanksgiving. Riesling makes a nice alternative to Chardonnay, particularly if your guests prefer slightly sweeter wines.
Lone Birch 2015 Riesling, Yakima Valley, $12
Armstrong Family Winery 2015 Dineen Vineyard Riesling, Yakima Valley, $18.00

The Reds
Red wine has traditionally been a Thanksgiving classic, its brightness and balance pair well with almost every dish on the table.  A lighter bodied red is recommended.

The Classic Red:
Syrah is a food-friendly wine that works well with Thanksgiving fare. Its firm tannins, dark red fruit flavors, spice, and black pepper pair nicely with turkey, stuffing, cranberry, and many of the holiday flavors.
Owen Roe 2013 Red Willow Vineyard Chapel Block Syrah, Yakima Valley, $55.00
Domanico Cellars 2011 Lewis Family Vineyard La Ville Syrah, Yakima Valley, $21.00

The Easy-Drinking Red:
GSMs represents a blend of Grenache, Syrah and Mourvedre. This wine offers red raspberry flavors, firm tannins, good structure, as well as elegance and complexity. Not only do the GSMs pair well with all the elements of a turkey dinner, it’s easy-drinking and sure to please those stalwart white wine drinkers.
Co Dinn 2014 Lonesome Spring Ranch Vineyard G-S-M, Yakima Valley, $45.00
Palencia Wine Co. 2014 Casa Amarilla Grenache, Syrah & Mourvedre, Yakima Valley, $36.00

A Sweet Finish:
When it comes to wine and dessert pairings, fortified and late-harvest wines offer the sweetness and texture that stand up to the rich flavors of any traditional holiday dessert.
Terra Blanca 2016 Arch Terrace Late Harvest Riesling, Yakima Valley, $18.00
Thurston Wolfe 2015 Touriga Nacional Port, $16.00

The bottom line is: Don’t sweat it too much. Thanksgiving is a tricky meal to pair wines with, there are a lot competing flavors on the table. The important thing is to enjoy the day, raise a glass, and give thanks for your blessings.

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