Prepare your Thanksgiving meal by visiting wineries in Yakima Valley

FOR THE BELLINGHAM HERALDNovember 12, 2013 

Is there any holiday more food-centered than Thanksgiving? Even if you're not into spending all day watching football and parades, most everyone gets together with family and friends to share a good meal.

And where there's good food there should always be good wine.

With Thanksgiving just around the corner, why not get a jump on planning what you're going to do and serve for the annual gastronomic binge? I'll give you some wine-related suggestions today and over the next two weeks that should help keep your turkey day relatively stress free.

Let me start by proposing a firsthand experience in Eastern Washington's wine country that may give you some ideas while at the same time contributing to a good cause. Wine Yakima Valley and Northwest Harvest have partnered to help feed the hungry this Thanksgiving season by offering a "Taste to Fight Hunger" ticket.

The $30 pass waives your tasting fees and entitles you to reserve and specialty tastings and to special discounts at more than 40 Yakima Valley wineries. Proceeds from ticket sales go to Northwest Harvest.

Tickets are on sale at participating wineries and online at wineyakimavalley.org. You can use them prior to the holiday to select the perfect wine for your Thanksgiving feast, and tickets will also be honored the weekend after the holiday, Nov. 29 through Dec. 1.

If you go, here's my take on some Yakima Valley wineries you may want to visit:

Airfield Estates - Winemaker Marcus Miller offers a ton of choices, particularly full-bodied reds and whites.

AntoLin Cellars and Gilbert Cellars - These two excellent wineries are located close to accommodations in the heart of downtown Yakima.

Chinook Wine - One of the valley's originals, it produces solid, consistently good semillon, sauvignon blanc and cabernet franc.

Cultura Wine - Husband and wife winemakers Tad and Sarah Fewel make it a pleasure to visit this red-wine-lover's dream winery.

Severino Cellars - I'm a big fan of Severino's nicely priced red wine blend; located just off the freeway in Zillah.

Southard Winery - A must-try winery in Selah, I'll feature it in depth in early December.

Two Mountain Winery - Another Zillah winery that keeps getting better and better; try their 2010 Reserve Cabernet Franc with lip-smacking red cherry flavors, crushed herbs and a hint of dark chocolate. In a word: Delicious.

Treveri Cellars - Treveri makes the best and most reasonably priced sparkling wines in

Washington, period.

Next week: White wines for Thanksgiving.

Dan Radil is a wine enthusiast who lives in Bellingham. Reach him at danthewineguy.com.

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