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Cheers to the holidays

By MARGO HORNER, The Mirror

On the day before Thanksgiving, most folks have already decided what will be on the dinner menu.

But what about the beverages?

Wine and beer can go great with holiday meals, local experts say. They can also be great for dinner guests to bring as a thank-you gift for the host.

At Dash Point Metropolitan Market, wine steward Kam Devin said not to fear serving red wine with holiday turkey.

“You can have whatever you feel is your favorite,” he said.

Pinot noir has fewer tannins than other reds and will pair well with poultry. Sangiovese tastes good with a turkey that has a sausage stuffing, Devin said.

“You really have to think about the stuffing,” he said. “You want something that’s really going to have the earthiness or the rustic-ness to it... It helps take the saltiness out.”

It is not necessary to break the bank to purchase a good bottle of wine, Devin said.

“A good bottle of wine can run you anywhere from, I’d say, eight dollars to $15.99,” he said. “I would say $30 is a great bottle of wine.”

For a dessert wine, Devin recommends a late harvest Gewurztramier to be served with pumpkin pie.

“It’s got a little bit of that spiciness to it, like all-spice, so it goes well with those things,” he said. “You’ve got kind of that sweet to go with that spice.”

For gift-giving, Devin recommends syrah, shiraz or sangiovese. Those wines are likely to be enjoyed by people with a variety of tastes.

“It’s very friendly,” he said.

Beer, too, is an option for holiday beverages.

At 99 Bottles in Federal Way, Tiffany Adamowski suggests pairing beer with Thanksgiving dinner. Beer is easier to pair than wine, she added.

Before dinner, Adamowski recommends Night Owl Pumpkin Ale. The seasonal ale helps set the mood, but the pumpkin flavor won’t overwhelm the palate when served alone.

“When you drink it, if you rub the top of your tongue to the roof of your mouth you get a real pumpkin flavor,” she said.

For the turkey, Adamowski recommends Rogue Juniper Pale Ale.

“The pale ales have a little bit of spiciness to them,” she said. “The juniper has a little bit of a mint flavor that pairs up nicely with the poultry.”

After dinner, Adamowski recommends serving Samuel Smith’s Winter Welcome Ale for dessert. It has caramel, vanilla and burnt brown sugar flavors that would go really well with a slice of pumpkin pie and ice cream, she said.

Also for dessert, options include champagne beers and Belgian lambics.

“To be able to try some of that stuff for the holidays is just real special,” she said. “Beer and Thanksgiving just go hand-in-hand. You already have football on.”

Besides the wine pairings, Devin offers the following advice for Thanksgiving.

“Don’t be afraid to be a little more casual,” he said. “People try to make it a little too formal sometimes.”

He suggested getting everybody involved in the preparation of the meal so they don’t get bored standing around. And perhaps open several bottles of wine or beer and let guests have a tasting.

“Have great food, but don’t put a burden on you,” he said.

Contact Margo Horner: mhorner@fedwaymirror.com or (253) 925-5565.

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Kam Devin, wine steward at Dash Point Metropolitan Market, recommends the following wines to serve with Thanksgiving dinner:

Red: Abbey Page Pinot noir

Red: Waving Tree Sangiovese

White: Four Graces Pinot gris

White: Milbrandt Vineyards traditional Riesling

Tiffany Adamowski, co-owner of 99 Bottles specialty beer store in Federal Way, recommends the following beers to serve with Thanksgiving dinner:

Rogue Juniper Pale Ale

Night Owl Pumpkin Ale

Samuel Smith’s Winter Welcome Ale

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