Bringing Wine to the People's Feast

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. It’s the one celebration that’s for everyone. It’s about being thankful for the bounty of the harvest season and the family and friends we have. It’s about that most sacred act of leisurely breaking bread together. It’s a holiday where everyone is invited, everyone can participate, and nearly everyone takes a nap. Nothing could be finer. It is truly The People’s Feast.

Thanksgiving should also be stress-free. I know some of you are a little worked up over the complexity of the meal or whether or not the Turkey (Tofurkey?) will pass muster with Mom. Please, relax. Take a deep breath. Ask for a hand from a friend, spouse or child. Have some wine. This holiday is for all of us and that includes you.

So, what kind of wine is suitable to the Thanksgiving table? Well, there’s good news and bad news. The bad news is that most Thanksgiving dinners are an assembly of so many different flavors and textures and weights of yummy things that no single wine will pair wonderfully with every item on the table. Here’s the good news:

The captain has turned off the wine snobbery sign. You are now free to move about the wine section.

Seriously. This is the time to bring whatever wine you wish to the table. It’s your event. Drink what you like. Have 3-4 kinds of wine if the gathering is large and everyone will find something they like. Most of what you select will work with most of the food. Some things won’t work so well. Watch the faces of other people as they try the White Zinfandel with the corn salad, or the Cotes du Rhone with the cranberry sauce. If you see a pucker across the table, you know that’s not a good match. Then you try the Cotes du Rhone with the corn salad and the White Zinfandel with the cranberry sauce. Maybe that will work. Just have fun with it. It’s your holiday, your food, your wine, your taste buds, your friends, your family, and your nap.

Below are a few recommendations for wines that you can find at Bloomingfoods on East Third Street and on West Sixth Street. These wines are recommended for their excellent value and their general food-friendliness. If any part of a description sounds snobbish or pretentious, it is not the fault of the wine. Rather it is the fault of the scribe (old habits die hard). Have a happy Thanksgiving!


Girasole Zinfandel—Zinfandel is not only America’s red grape (it’s almost indigenous, like most of our forebears), it is also perfect for feasts. Its jammy fruit, full body, and soft texture make it a good match for most foods on your holiday table. This wine is organic and vegan!

Delta Cotes du Rhone—Raspberry, earth and black pepper in a typically Rhone style, but with more freshness and complexity than expected for this price. Serve this one with the main meal. This wine is organic.

Cooper Mountain Reserve Pinot Noir—This is the finest organically produced Pinot Noir we have yet found. The freshness makes this a fantastic choice for a harvest celebration. The depth and complexity makes it perfect for holiday contemplation…and consumption!
La Vieille Ferme Rouge—A fantastic value in a lighter-style red. This wine is one of our best sellers year-round. It pairs with almost any food and has just enough nuance to keep you interested throughout your feast.

Don Ramon Tinto—A great wine for the price, and one of the best deals going from Spain right now. This wine has red fruit, black pepper and a bit of spicy oak as well. This would go great with the main part of the meal, but that’s so limiting—use it for your hors d’oeuvres too!

Snoqualmie Naked Chardonnay—This is exactly the style of Chardonnay that you want with food. It’s crisp, medium bodied, very focused in it’s fruit and not at all cloying. This is what Chardonnay tastes like when the winemaker lets the grapes and the vineyard shine forth. Truly a “naked” wine, and made from organic grapes.

Girasole Pinot Blanc—One of the best whites in the store, especially for carrying a wide array of foods. This Pinot Blanc has just enough body to handle the turkey and gravy, but is crisp and clean enough for the appetizers. We’re willing to bet it goes OK with apple pie too! This wine is organic and vegan.

Baronne Fini Pinot Grigio—Crisp to the point of being “zippy”, this white will go best with appetizers, as a cocktail wine, or with vegetable courses. If you need a white to go with your Tofurkey feast, this is it.

Oliver Riesling—Sweet white wines are a Thanksgiving tradition in this country. As long as there’s a bit of acidity, sweet wines work well with the fruity and savory combination of flavors on most Thanksgiving tables. This one will work beautifully, and it’s a local product too!

Jason Hill
Store Manager, Beer & Wine Buyer
Bloomingfoods Market and Deli, Near West Side