Photo credit to Asgari Photography
First things first, we ALL need to drink more Champagne and Sparkling wine, and the holidays afford the perfect opportunity! Here are some wines that I have been enjoying recently…
This rock solid sparkler from Mendocino is a perfect way to kick off any celebration and is great with richer holiday hors d’oeuvres like oysters Rockefeller, seared tuna poke and country style Pate. Retails for around 25$ and is widely available.
Ferrari Brut Perle 2004-
100% Chardonnay from Northern Italy with a lot of time on the lees, this is rich and delicious with lots of lemon and brioche….great length and texture, an awesome match with poached lobster salad or The Met’s Almond crusted scallops! A bit hard to find, but worth the effort, retails for about $30
This Chardonnay driven beauty is the best champagne I have tasted in recent memory, with mind blowing intense flavors of green apple, pear, meyer lemon and honeydew melon, dense texture and amazing richness. Can rock with anything from Blackened Prime Rib to Turkey with all the trimmings….hard to find but worth every penny at $80
Some other choices, Domaine Ste. Michelle Luxe, Bollinger Special Cuvee, Guy Larmandier Brut
My wife would kill me if I didn’t mention some white wine, her favorite…. There are some beauties out there….
2011 Oberon Sauvignon Blanc-
This bright and delicious Napa Sauv Blanc just cries out for holiday appetizers like chevre crostini and mini crab cakes! Grapefruit, lemon and savory herb flavors are in perfect harmony with racy acidity. This wine is an absolute steal at $12 retail, better than most Cali Sauvignon Blanc that cost twice as much.
2010 Jordan Chardonnay-
This perennial winner is even more fantastic in the ’10 vintage, with pineapple, melon and citrus flavors balanced with crisp acidity and French oak. Perfect with seafood or all by itself! Classic stuff at $25 retail.
2011 King Estate Pinot Gris-
Ed King has done it again with this versatile and delicious wine! Red apple, pear and cinnamon flavors make this a great match with poultry or charcuterie, and the rich texture can stand up to spicier cuisine as well. A great deal at $16 retail.
And of course, red wine makes the world go ‘round, right? Nothing is quite as satisfying as a great glass of hearty red with friends and family…
2010 Louis Jadot Beaujolais-Villages-
Light, fruity and fantastic, this should be on every table through the holidays! Brimming with ripe cherries and raspberries, this wine has beautiful balance, is light enough to please grandma, and is great with turkey or ham. $14 Retail, widely available
2010 Elk Cove Pinot Noir-
Silky and smooth, this great effort from one of Oregon’s most respected wine pioneers is packed with raspberries, currants and spice, and has beautiful texture. From personal experience, I guarantee the bottle will always seem half empty! $23 Retail, widely available
This fantastic team effort from LongShadows of Walla Walla and the Folonari Brothers of Tuscany blends prime Washington Sangiovese, Cabernet and Syrah in a seductive, powerful red that just cries out for heartier holiday fare….Try it with Roast Lamb or bring home a whole prime rib from The Met, your holiday table will love it! $38 Retail
2008 Grgich Hills Zinfandel-
A wholly indigenous American grape varietal, red Zin is a sneaky good companion to the holiday table. Not to be too patriotic, but I always try to drink some Zin at Thanksgiving, my favorite holiday, it’s spicy red fruit flavors and zesty nature make it a great compliment with turkey, ham and my favorite, chorizo –chestnut stuffing and red-eye pan gravy….Trust me….It’s unreal…$30 Retail