Sure, you can have a booze-free Thanksgiving, but why would you want to? If you're looking for something really special for that hostess gift or to pop during dinner, grill wine expert Mary Allison Wright of the Proper Pour at The Source (3350 Brighton Boulevard). Not only does her compact shop have unique offerings, but she can help you build your wine list and lead you to the perfect bottles. Another great place for those looking for guidance is Mondo Vino, at 3601 West 32nd Avenue. The knowledgeable staff can help pair wine, steer you toward a local spirit or recommend beers for the feast.
Of course, if you just want to make sure to stock up on local booze to go with your Thanksgiving party, consider these: On the wine side, Kingman Estate Winery has a great lineup of reds to choose from; Infinite Monkey Theorem offers one of the only sparking wines — Bubble Universe — made locally (and everyone knows bubbles go with everything); and if you would like to pair your turkey with a nice crisp white, procure a bottle of Plum Creek Winery's dry riesling.
For beer drinkers, the options feel boundless, since so many craft breweries exist in the state. For something really special, Highlands Wine & Liquor (4650 West 38th Avenue) offers a large selection of large-format and rare beers, and the staff knows what's what. And if you get on the ball, Denver Beer Co. and Long I Pie are hosting a pie-and-beer-pairing event (tickets are available for the brewery's Platte Street and Arvada locations) on Saturday, November 18, perfect to get some hands-on tasting to help you make Turkey Day decisions.
Whether you're looking to plump up your pre-dinner options or plan to take something to someone else's fete, many local places are helping to make it easy and delicious. Il Porcellino Salumi (4334 Wesr 41st Avenue) is doing salumi platters ($45 for a four-to-six person platter or $100 for a spread for twelve or more) with assorted house-cured meats, rillettes, pickled vegetables, pâtés, bread, pickled mustard seeds and crackers. On the cheese side, The Truffle Cheese Shop (2906 East Sixth Avenue) will custom-build a spread depending on the size of the party and what you like. The offerings can include cured meats, dried fruit, nuts, olives and palate cleansers, as well as oodles of cheese.
Justin Brunson's Culture Meat & Cheese (inside the Denver Central Market at 2669 Larimer Street) also makes charcuterie and cheese boards, but you can order giant salads, too ($35 for four to six people and $70 for eight to twelve). Choose from a fruit-and-nut job with arugula, candied walnuts, dried fruits, blue cheese and walnuts; a chopped Italian with romaine, roasted red peppers and tomatoes, castelvetrano olives, fresh mozzarella, finocchiona sausage, ham and a red-wine vinaigrette; or a simple mixed-green option. These and a few more Thankgiving offerings are also available from Brunson's Masterpiece Deli (1575 Central Street).
Like the others, Cured (1825 Pearl Street, Boulder) also will whip up a crazy-good plate of cheese and charcuterie for your get-together, but that's just the tip of the iceberg. Fluff up that holiday table with freshly made dolmas; Rancho Gordo heirloom garbanzo-bean hummus with rainbow carrots and crackers; artichoke dip with garlic and lemon; and a stunning salad of quinoa, Cure Organic Farm beets, chèvre, toasted hazelnuts and lemon (prices vary).