To Serve as an Aperitif
Washington state’s oldest winery, Chateau Ste. Michelle, offers a variety of affordable and easy to find Columbia Valley sparkling wines for your holiday toast. Their Luxe 2012 is a great choice for celebrating. Even the label looks luxurious.
Turn to one of the newest, Treveri Cellars, for a taste of the Yakima Valley’s finest Chardonnay grapes in their Brut Blanc de Blanc. This sparkling wine features hints of green apple for a crisp salute to Thanksgiving.
Pair any sparkling wine with a few dried cranberries in each glass. The wine’s carbonation sends each berry gently rising and falling in the flute. Fun and festive!
To Accent the Appetizers
Washington grows 90% of the red raspberries, 70% of the apples and more than 60% of the sweet cherries produced in the U.S. Put that local bounty to use in tart, sweet appetizers.
Chop fresh sweet cherries and mix with a little sugar and chopped fresh thyme, then top melted brie on bruschetta. Or mix fresh raspberries, ricotta cheese, yogurt and a bit of vanilla and spread on fresh apple slices, or use as a dip for whole grain crackers.
Pair with a Pinot Noir to highlight the fruit flavors. Gingko Forest Winery, based in Mattawa, tends their vineyards on the warm, dry Wahluke Slope. They created an excellent 2010 Pinot Noir, and host a handy tasting room in Tacoma!
To Highlight the Main Event
Poultry pairs well with lighter wines that have fresh, bright and citrusy notes, such as Riesling or Gewurztraminer.
Try a Poet’s Leap 2016 Riesling, from Long Shadows Vintners in Walla Walla, recognized as a Food & Wine magazine Winery of the Year. Hogue Cellars of Prosser makes a fine, affordable 2015 Gewurztraminer – making it easy to get several bottles to tide the table through second helpings of turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy.
To Follow Dessert
Dessert wines are a wonderful indulgence, especially on holidays, when you have time to sit and savor a relaxing drink after a fine meal. Sweet, fortified dessert wines such as Port, Sherry and Madeira often have grape brandy added to intensify and enrich the flavors.
Try Whidbey Island Winery’s Barbera Port NV, perfectly attuned for Thanksgiving with hints of cranberry, cherry and chocolate. A single dark chocolate truffle from Seattle Chocolates is a trusted accompaniment.
In the Rattlesnake Hills area of the Yakima Valley, Tanjuli Winery produces a rich, golden Orange Muscat Sherry. Pair it with Coffaro’s Pistachio with Cranberries Biscotti.