Tacoma Rainiers

Thanksgiving at R House: Wine, Cocktails, and New Traditions

Welcome to Thanksgiving at R House.

While we recognize that this year has been a test for all of us, moving forward in a spirit of thankfulness for all that we have is still so important. In the spirit of community, we’ve pulled together Tacoma’s experts in culture and cuisine to help you make the very best of this holiday season.

It’s almost without question that many of our Thanksgiving celebrations are going to be wildly different than last year’s, but as we’ve done for the last nine months, we will adapt.

Gatherings will be smaller. Some won’t happen at all. Regardless of how you’re doing Thanksgiving this year, we recommend following all local health guidelines.

For our first installment, we’ve reached out to some of Tacoma’s brilliant experts in booze to ensure your household’s Thanksgiving festivities are properly merry and…hydrated. We’ll also be suggesting a few fun new traditions we’ll be starting with our households this year.

Up first? The top Thanksgiving wine pairings from our favorite 6th Ave bottle shop Field Bar.

No one’s got your needs more thoughtfully stocked than owner Brian Hibbard.

Hors d’oeuvres and warm up: Patrice Colin

‘Perles Rouges’
Locale: Thoré-la-Rochette → Loire Valley → France
Classification: Red Frizzante
Varietals: Gamay
ABV: 12.5%

This bone-dry light sparkling red could be a Thanksgiving course in and of itself, being that the main tasting vibes are super tart cranberries and pomegranate with mouthwatering acidity to keep you reaching for another sip, essentially performing as the most perfect amuse bouche tease.  Elegant, super tart fizzy juice at your service, this Gamay will wow your guests, errr, your Zoom guests? Maybe your household guests. However you want to play it off, Perles Rouges has your back.

The main courses and tying one on: Fabien Jouves

‘Haut Berba’
Locale: Cahors → Occitanie → France
Varietals: Petit Manseng, Gros Manseng
ABV: 15.5%

Hello, heavy hitter. This nectar of the gods packs a punch, with intense aromatics of a boozy pear liqueur and autumnal harvest, it’s a perfect main course vino to sip on. The nostalgic vibes of perhaps a strong cocktail that your grandfather was sipping on while discussing politics, this baby will take you BACK. The higher ABV will make it a slower sipper, and also bring a warming vibe as it pairs perfectly with rich accoutrements that define your main courses that we know and love: gravy, butter, all of the dairy, (also who decided that putting marshmallows on sweet potatoes was a good idea?), and of course, your roasted turkey, your deep-fried turkey, your BBQ turkey, your tofurkey. It’s no match for the Haut Berba.

Loosening your belt to make room for dessert Bruno Verdi

‘Sangue Di Giuda’
Locale: Canneto Pavese → Lombardy → Italy
Classification: Red Frizzante
Varietals: Uva Rara, Barbera, Croatina
ABV: 8.5%

This is perhaps the most unique bottle of wine I have in the shop. It is gorgeous, it is weird, it is big, and bridges the gap between a big bold red and a sweet Pedro Ximenez Sherry. But wait, add some bubbles! Oh, wait and add even more texture, crank down the alcohol, and then add some residual sugar. I know, I know, sweet wine is not the cup of tea that most of us are grabbing, but this unique bottle that literally translates to “Blood of Judas” could play an important role and, in fact, a versatile addition to your Thanksgiving table. Pair it with a thick piece of pumpkin pie, or for those of you who prefer pecan (something I will never understand), it’ll do the job.

Editors note: All of these wines and so much more are available at Field Bar on 6th Ave. Read more about our love for the bottle shop HERE. Pay Brian a visit and tell him your friends at the Tacoma Rainiers say “Happy Thanksgiving, ya big turkey!”

Now, for those who aren’t in love with the vino, but still trying to get a little loosie goosie on Turkey Day, we reached out to our favorite Tacoma bartender Abraham Ojeda of 1022 South J and Parkway Tavern fame for some of his favorite Thanksgiving drinks. You may remember him from October’s Booze n’ Boos series.

The following are go-to cocktails that remind Abe of the holiday season, with an emphasis on fall palettes.

Apples at Night

  • 1 ½ ounce Rainier gin
  • ½ ounce lemon juice
  • ½ ounce honey simple syrup
  • 1 ounce apple shrub

Shake and strain over ice in a tall Collins glass. Top off with cold soda water (Topo Chico highly recommended!)

Abe’s White Russian

  • 2 ounces Fernet Menta
  • ½ ounce Kahlua
  • 2 dashes chocolate bitters

Stir and top with coconut milk for a sleepy and delicious treat.

Daffy’s Bourbon

  • 2 ounces of fat washed bourbon (duck fat)
  • 2 dashes of tobacco bitters
  • 2 dashes of chocolate bitters
  • One bar spoon of simple syrup to round edge of flavor

Stir and pout over a single cube. Express an orange peel over top and serve. Learn about fat washing.

The Geri Halliwell

  • 1 ½ ounce Mezcal
  • ¾ ounce ginger syrup
  • ½ ounce allspice liqueur
  • ½ ounce lemon juice

Shake and strain. Serve up in a martini glass. Ginger is one of those flavors that sits perfectly on a cold winter evening. This riff on the Moscow Mule is sure to please. Especially for those fans of smoky mezcal.

Ed: Thanks, Abe! Cheers to you.

And now, for some new traditions.

If we can be fully transparent for a second, in all the murk of lousiness that is 2020, one thing that’s been a bright side is the new things that have revealed themselves in this unforgettable way of life. Some traditions will certainly go out the COVID window this season, but we’re excited to share a few new ones that we give you express permission to co-opt and make your own for Thanksgiving.

Binge watch a new show. From the beginning. As a family.

Listen, we know you’ve been watching a lot of television. But let’s skip the Christmas movies this year, eat way too much, and stay up late binging a new series. Want to spice it up? Start discussing it now. Make it a hot debate. Everyone gets to suggest a few and maybe you draw it out of a hat? Either way, we like the anticipation of the whole thing. Looking for a few recommendations from our team? It’s been all The Queen’s Gambit for many of our staff members of late, but if you’re looking for a dark horse, we can’t sing the praises any louder for Japan’s meditative reality show Terrace House. No television program could showcase the painful process of asking a girl out on a date like this. Pair with tryptophan and a warm fire for ultimate bliss.

Mandatory Toasts

Even in a normal year, the whole go around the table and say what you’re thankful act is a little played out. Especially in a year where some people are going to struggle even harder for their answer (and rightfully so), why not make everybody raise a glass and toast to the future? The adults can start, but with an example of how to do it, the kids will be ready to raise their glasses of milk to brighter days too. You know it’s going to be touching, probably funny, and any excuse to drink is a good one. We can raise a glass to this new tradition.

Notes of Gratitude

As we said before, even with all the chaos and loss, we all have something and someone to be thankful for this holiday season. Break out some envelopes, stationary, and pens with a challenge to your household: write a letter or short note to someone you are grateful for. Could be a teacher, your doctor, a neighbor who has looked out for you this year, or even a member of your family. The head of the household can stamp and mail the envelopes Friday morning, reverberating a peaceful and appreciative feeling from your home to someone else’s. Now that’s in the spirit of Thanksgiving.

Be on the lookout for more from our Thanksgiving at R House series all the way up until the special day. Be safe, stay healthy, and from R Family to yours, a very happy holidays.

About the Tacoma Rainiers

The Tacoma Rainiers are the Triple-A affiliate of the Seattle Mariners. Tacoma has been a member of the Pacific Coast League since Cheney Stadium opened in 1960, and has been a Mariners affiliate since establishing the Rainiers moniker in 1995.

The most up-to-date news and notes about the Tacoma Rainiers and Cheney Stadium can be found at WeRTacoma.com, or by following the Rainiers on Twitter (@RainiersLand), Instagram (@tacomarainiers) and liking the team on Facebook.

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The We R Tacoma Team Store is open Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. PT, and is always available online. Grab your Rainiers gear, your Defiance ‘fit, and follow the team store on Instagram and Twitter.

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