Oh the Holidays are here.  To most people this means a time of culinary delights, festive parties, and family.  Yea that all sounds fantastic. To me and people in all retail or service it is a time of crowded stores, long hours, little sleep and in general high blood pressure.  But, the constant fast pace, and in my case, all that great wine I get to recomend and really interesting people who are looking for the perfect treat to compliment the Holiday table, it can be alot of fun. (How was that for a looong run on sentence). 

So that brings me to the number one question I am asked, “What wine should I serve with…..?”.    Now mind you the vast majority of people already have an idea of what they want, they just want an affirmation.  But, when people do seriously have no idea what to serve the standard go to is Pinot Noir, Burgundy, or Riesling and because it is that time of year I must throw in Beaujolais Nouveau. These wines usually pair very well with turkey or ham and are usually easy drinking and will satisfy a majority.  There are those you can never please, and to those I say NEVER INVITE THEM BACK.  After all they are getting free wine.  

Just  a few basics for some of the most popular varietals.  

Pinot Noir

One of the lightest red wines.  It is usually fruity, strawberry, raspberry and light cherry with light tannins.  Burgundian styles are usually earthy, and fuller bodied.  Some can even develop that barnyardy style, but don’t let that fool you the flavor is fantastic.  

Some of the best areas are in Califofrnia, Carneros and RRV,  Oregon, the Willamette valley and in New Zealand.  And of course France, the Burgundy region.  

A  favorite from the Willamette Valley. 

Riesling

Often thought of as a sweet wine there are many great dry Rieslings.  German Rieslings come in 5 sweetness categories; Kabinett- dry to off dry, Spatlese- sweet, Auslese-sweeter, Beerenauslese- very sweet, and Trockenbeerenauslese- super sweet.  Alsace wines tend to be more dry to off dry.  In the states Rieslings are more to the off dry with the exception of course of the LHR the sweet dessert wines.  Washington State offers some of the best choices fro domestic wines, with New York state, and South Africa producing some very nice choices.  

Sweet Rieslings have a nutty, honey flavor.  A pepper or spice finish is common, and they are of course sweet.  Dry Rieslings are crisp, light and elegant.   They go great with turkey or ham and work well with vegetarian meals too. (Not that I would know, GIVE ME THE MEAT).  Below is one of my favorites, an off dry from Germany, Dr. Heideman’s. 

Beaujolais Nouveau is “The first wine of the harvest”. A Southern burgundy wine ( it was expelled from Northern Burgundy as an inferior grape).  Made from Gamay it is light and fruity.  It is not too sophisticated, but it can be quite good.  Gewurtztraminer is another favorite.  It is also dry, off dry and sweet.  Hailing from Germany, Austria, Alsace and from California and becoming more common around the world. It is very aromatic and tastes of honey and a spice finish.  

What it really comes down too is choosing what you like.  Enjoying your family and friends and giving thanks for all your blessings.  What ever wine you choose – count your blessings and be Thankful. 

Happy Thanksgiving 

  • Enjoy 

This sultry Pinot is, well Damn good.  Titus has proven again that he is a master of his craft.  And, as a  winemaker at Chappellet he knows how to turn grapes into beautiful wines. Sonoma Loeb as well as his own label- Titus- are to die for.  But today my focus is on Sonoma Loeb. 
I can’t help but just love this wine.  The nose is full of floral notes, violets and roses.  Combine this with cherry and plum and who can resist.  The room fills with these  aromas making good you at our cell feel at ease and tranquil.
When the juice hits your tongue the senses overload.  Mouthwatering  is not enough to describe what is going on.  At once those cherry anes thd plum flavors pop, then oh then the chocolate comes through. Yes, I said chocolate, who can resist that.  There is so much happening here.  Spices; clove and a little pepper are on the end.  But the end just keeps going.  WOW.  Such intensity, depth,  structure.  This wine has it all.  Definitely  not your normal west coast pinot. Drinking ,ore like a hearty burgundy.  I close my eyes and just enjoy the rapture. 

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Enjoy

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A totally unique blend.  Pinot Noir, Syrah, Pinot Meunier, and Chardonnay to top it off.
The nose gives off reminders of the holiday. Orange, nutmeg, pepper and spice. 
The wine hits your tongue and the complexity of flavors throws the mind into free fall.
Bright red fruit, cherry, strawberry and even a note of plum.   I know plum sometimes gives that note of stewed fruit…kinda like that cabernet from Paso Robles.
Perennial is best known for pinot blends.  I am not positive this blend works.   It is a decent wine, but for the price I wanted more.  I am not saying it is bad, and I would have it again, just not great.
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Enjoy

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