Our Guide to Thanksgiving Wine and Beer Parings from Western Colorado
After our stay-at-home COVID Thanksgiving last year, we are excited to spend this Thanksgiving with our family enjoying good company, delicious food, and of course football, wine, and beer. With all due respect to Chardonnay and Pinot Noir lovers, this Thanksgiving we will be bringing some more interesting western Colorado libations to grace the holiday table.
A key thing to do when selecting a beverage to go with a meal is to first think about the food you will be eating. A traditional Thanksgiving meal of turkey and all the fixins should be paired with something delicate to avoid overpowering the food and slightly acidic to balance the richness of gravy and creamy side dishes. Thanksgiving dinner is not the time to bust out the big, bold red or barrel-aged beer that you have been saving for a special occasion.
There is a reason that Chardonnay and Pinot Noir are so popular at the Thanksgiving table. A lightly oaked Chardonnay pairs perfectly with buttery mashed potatoes, and a slightly tart Pinot Noir is screaming for a forkful of cranberry sauce. However, if either of these wines are overly oaked you might think you are eating Thanksgiving dinner by a campfire. This year, we’ll be bringing two wines to offer with the meal. Carlson Vineyards’ Wren Quinn White is a Chardonnay/Riesling blend with citrus and apple notes. Buckel Family Wines’ Cinsault is a lighter bodied red wine with subtle berry flavors and spice notes. Both wines should be crowd-pleasers.
Beer lovers should not shy away from offering guests a delicious malt beverage in lieu of wine for the Thanksgiving meal. Ease into the day with a Laid Back Blonde from Palisade Brewing Company. Other options that would go well with salty appetizers include the Vienna Lager from Foam & Folly Brewing and the Rabbit Ears Amber Ale from Rockslide Brewery.
For the main course, we recommend a couple of beer options that are worthy substitutes for the more traditional glass of wine. The Sanctuary Belgian Golden Strong Ale from Gemini Beer Company slots in nicely for Chardonnay drinkers, with its fruity notes of pear and apple providing a delicious compliment to your turkey. For those that may lean towards Pinot Noir with their turkey, we recommend the current Vine Beer from Monumental Beer Works titled OK, But First, Rosé. A brut IPA fermented on Pinot Noir grapes, this beer has a nice and fruity red wine touch to it that you’ll really enjoy with your meal. If you’re looking for a more traditional beer pairing with your turkey, we suggest the Indian Creek Brown Ale from Edgewater Brewery. The roasty malts that come through will only amplify a beautifully browned and caramelized turkey.
Finally, for dessert, you can’t go wrong with an Aspen Street Coffee Porter from Copper Club Brewing Company. Forgo the traditional cup of coffee and sip this dark and roasty offering that incorporates cold brew from Colorado Legacy Coffee. You can also have your dessert in a glass. The Cookie Cannon from Ramblebine Brewing is a rich and chocolatey imperial stout that was conditioned on Oreo cookies, cocoa nibs and vanilla with toasted marshmallow. Carlson Vineyards Hot Peach Cobbler in a Mug is made with their peach wine and tastes exactly like fresh cobbler. Or, if it’s been just way too long of a day and you’ve had a bit too much of the family, we suggest the Erebus Imperial Honey Maple Stout from Gemini Beer Company. Finish off this 13% glass of decadence and go take a nap on the couch!
However you enjoy your Thanksgiving holiday, please enjoy it responsibly. We are thankful for our family, friends, and all of our clients who have become new friends during our tours.
Sarah and Jason