Pair Thanksgiving Dinner With One of These Perfect Washington Wines
While Burgundy and Napa may get more attention, Washington state is actually one of the most ideal locations for producing world-class wine. Washington’s soil, topography, and climate form some of the best growing conditions in the world, and generations of local producers have certainly perfected their craft. The resulting wines are diverse, well-balanced, and high-quality, perfect for this year’s Thanksgiving feast.
5 Washington Wines to Try This Thanksgiving
Pairing wine with turkey and mashed potatoes may seem like a daunting task. But with more local vintners focusing on well-grown, food-friendly grapes, there’s a Washington wine just waiting for each of your dishes. From pinot noir to pinot gris, the nation’s second-largest wine producer has a diverse, delicious selection that will feel right at home on your table.
Turkey and Pinot Noir
Pinot noir is one of the most popular food wines and a safe bet for most pairings. Its bright acidity, fresh complexity, and rich fruit character pair well with almost any food, and, as a light red wine, it’s sure to complement both light and dark turkey meat. This year, try K Vineyards' 2018 Golden West Pinot Noir. The notes of anise, wild strawberry, and pie crust will perfectly complement your turkey’s seasoning.
K Vineyards grapes are grown and bottled in Walla Walla, a dry and sunny region known for producing some of Washington’s best wines. Temperatures get balmy during the day and drop substantially at night during prime growing season, which is April through October. The temperature fluctuations yield a wine higher in alcohol content and acidity, perfect for cutting through that extra helping of gravy. If just a bottle of wine isn’t quite enough, why not buy some property close to the action? The average home value in Walla Walla is $289,596.
Mashed Potatoes and Chardonnay
Nothing goes better with creamy, buttery potatoes than a creamy, buttery Chardonnay. Wine aged in oak barrels will often present the taste of buttered toast, perfectly complementing the richness of your potatoes. The 2017 Chardonnay from Browne Family Vineyards, aged in oak barrels for 11 months, is no exception. It has that classic velvety texture and taste, but just enough acidity to cut through oils and cream sauces.
Browne Family Vineyards is headquartered in Seattle, where wine enthusiasts might enjoy this 1 bed, 1 bath loft, located just across the street from the tasting room. The winery uses grapes grown from Washington vineyards in seven different American Viticultural Areas (AVAs). Each AVA has its own unique climate and soil composition, so Chardonnay grapes are harvested only from the region with their ideal growing conditions. The resulting wine is well-balanced, full-bodied, and will fit right in on the Thanksgiving table.
Stuffing and Sauvignon Blanc
Washington state sits on the same latitude as Bordeaux, the wine capital of the world. Local sauvignon blancs produce some of the same world-class components as their old world counterparts, including subtle fruit flavors, high acidity, and the taste of grassy herbs. This Thanksgiving, give the Chateau Ste. Michelle Sauvignon Blanc 2018 a try. The light and bright grassiness, green apple, and tarragon will pair perfectly with an herbaceous stuffing.
Headquartered in Woodinville, Chateau Ste. Michelle is the oldest winery in Washington. The grapes comprising this vintage were sourced from the Columbia Valley, the largest viticultural region in the state. The Cascade Mountains shelter the vineyards from too much rain, and the temperature fluctuations from day to night create a bright aroma and flavor. It’s the perfect palette-cleanser for any aromatic stuffing. If you or a client are looking for easy access to more stellar wines from Chateau Ste. Michelle, the average home value in Woodinville is $876,551.
Greens and Pinot Gris
Whether a fresh salad or roasted veggies are on the menu, pinot gris will pair perfectly with most produce. The lemon-bright characteristic of this wine will complement the greens, and the high acidity can cut through salad dressings and oils. This year, try the Pinot Gris from Lost River. The citrus notes and fruity tartness will enhance fresh flavors without competing.
Grapes are grown just outside Benton City and bottled in Winthrop, down the river from this gorgeous 4 bed, 3 bath. The area’s long, sunny days and cool breezes provide some of the best conditions for growing grapes. Consistent winds prevent overheating, so the fruit retains a balanced acidity. There’s just enough refreshing zing to stand up to the greens without overpowering them. With this kind of perfect pairing, you won’t mind eating your vegetables.
Pumpkin Pie and Riesling
We’ve saved perhaps the most important dish for last. Pair dense, spicy pumpkin pie with a fruity riesling. Kiona’s Columbia Valley Late Harvest Riesling is made from grapes that were picked later in the fall and have accumulated more sugar. It has just the right amount of sweetness without overwhelming the pie, and just enough acidity to make your mouth water. Flavors of clover, fresh apricot, and pear will complement the pie spice, while the effervescence will lift the denseness of the dish.
Kiona Vineyards are headquartered in Benton City, where the average home value sits at $287,390, and grapes are grown around Red Mountain. The area averages 17 hours of sunshine per day, two more than Napa Valley, and a 40-50 degree swing between peak daily temperatures. The resulting wine perfectly balances sugar and acidity, the cherry on top of your Thanksgiving feast.
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