We’ve survived the Stormy Weather Arts Festival and Women Only Weekend and it’s time to bring on the holidays.

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays of the year, because the main event is centered around food! I remember waiting patiently at my grandparents’ dining room table for the mashed potatoes and gravy to be passed my way. As the oldest grandchild, I never faced the indignity of sitting at the “kids table” like my younger sister and the rest of the cousins. The dinner table usually had a bottle of sparkling cider for the kids, while the adults enjoyed sparkling wine and other adult beverages.

This Thanksgiving, my family will be spread out across the country. Marlene, my mother in law, will be in Hollywood with her sister and brother in law. My daughter, Kayla and her new husband Nick will be visiting his family in Chicago. Maryann and I will be enjoying a quiet day in Cannon Beach with our two dogs. I’ll be at The Wine Shack for a couple of hours so people don’t have to drink the bottle of “yellow tail” or “2 buck” their relatives brought with them. After I close the Shack, Maryann and I will enjoy a traditional Thanksgiving dinner, but in smaller quantities than in previous years.

I’ve put together a nice selection for you to consider for your Thanksgiving meal. First, instead of bubbly this year, start the festivities with Atlas’ Hard Apple Cider, from Bend. Apple cider goes nicely with turkey and the fixings. Plus, apple cider is a perfect fall drink. Packed with aromas of apple, this cider nicely balances sweet and tart, never going too far in either direction. For those of you who have friends who don’t drink wine (you need new friends) or are looking for gluten-free options, hard apple cider is a great choice.

Creamy mashed potatoes, green bean casserole and yams are they type of foods that pair nicely with chardonnay. I like the delicate oak and fruit flavors of St. Innocent “Freedom Hill” chardonnay 2013, from Salem. Oregon chardonnay keeps getting better and St. Innocent does a nice job of fermenting and aging the wine in oak barrels without oak becoming overbearing. This wine delivers classic chardonnay flavors of apple and pear, with just a hint of toast from the oak.

For the main entrée’, my perfect pairing is zinfandel and my favorite local zin is Angel Vine Columbia Valley zinfandel 2012. Winemaker Ed Fus continues to deliver an excellent zin that is packed with fruit flavors without being jammy. On the nose, this wine offers plum, chocolate and a hint of raspberry. But, when tasting this wine, the flavors are a bit darker, with black cherry and plum presenting with a hint of smokiness. Delicious! If you are grilling your big bird this year, Angel Vine zin is a perfect wine selection for you.

My other selection to enjoy with turkey is Pudding River malbec 2013. Pudding River is located in Salem, but the malbec fruit is all Walla Walla. The first time I tried this wine, it delivered huge blueberry notes. Two years later, the blueberry notes are still in there, but they share the stage with darker flavors of plum, blackberries and chocolate. Your turkey should be honored to be on the same table as this wine. Ok, that’s a bit much, but you get the idea. This wine is delicious!

Once you’ve awaken from your turkey induced coma and you’re ready for dessert, I recommend you try Puffin “Moondance” coffee. Puffin Moondance is a delicious medium-dark roast blend made specifically for us by Sleepy Monk Coffee Roasters, here in Cannon Beach. A cup of Moondance coffee is the perfect beverage to go with a big slice of pecan pie or apple pie.

Enjoy the holiday with your family and friends, but please don’t drink and drive.

Happy Thanksgiving from The Wine Shack!

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