YAKIMA, Wash. — What to drink with that leftover Thanksgiving turkey? Probably rosé, according to Patrick Rawn, co-owner of Two Mountain Winery outside of Zillah.
Rosé, the pink wine that’s made such a comeback in esteem and quality over the past decade, is an easy match with fowl or ham. And it’s popular among Yakima Valley vintners, many of whom will offer specials this weekend as part of the Thanksgiving in Wine Country events coordinated by the Wine Yakima Valley and Rattlesnake Hills Wine Trail industry groups. The event — the local industry’s third largest behind Spring Barrel Tasting in April and Red Wine and Chocolate in February — is big with Valley residents who want to show off the local wine scene.
“Lots of people who have relatives in town for the weekend come to see the fun and see what it’s all about,” Rawn said.
Certainly there are wine fans who come to the Yakima Valley specifically for the three-day event, said Barb Glover, Wine Yakima Valley’s executive director. But she agreed with Rawn; a lot of the Thanksgiving in Wine Country wine-tasters and buyers are in town visiting family.
“Getting people over (Snoqualmie Pass) is a huge boon for this event,” she said. “But one of the things we see particularly with Thanksgiving in Wine Country is it’s the thing to do for families who are coming in from out of town.”
That only makes sense, said Laura Rankin, tasting room manager at Gilbert Cellars in downtown Yakima.
“It’s one of those really great activities people can do to really feature and highlight and showcase Yakima,” she said.
Part of the appeal is the breadth of wine available in the Yakima Valley. Buyers aren’t limited to rosé; just about any good bottle of wine can work with Thanksgiving leftovers, Rawn said. Folks can pair their turkey sandwiches with sparkling wine from Treveri Cellars in Yakima, or the highly acclaimed Viognier from Desert Wind Winery in Prosser or, if they’re feeling like breaking the rules and going red, the Syrah or Pinot Noir from Gilbert. Two Mountain will release a whole new lineup of 2009 wines this weekend, including a Merlot that’s perfect with late-fall staples such as chili, Rawn said.
Wine makes good gifts, too, Glover said. That’s another important aspect of the Thanksgiving in Wine Country; it’s the biggest holiday-shopping weekend for the local wine industry.
“We actually put a rush on our holiday packaging and gift boxes so we’d have them here before the weekend,” Rankin said.
• Pat Muir can be reached at 509-577-7693 or firstname.lastname@example.org.