Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Wine Tip of the Week - Give Thanks for... and with... Pinot Noir

Now that the Jack-o-Lantern is shriveled and in the compost heap, it is time to start planning for your Thanksgiving shindig or choosing a wine to take to someone else's feast.
The typical Thanksgiving day spread is a myriad of wonderful foods with a myriad of different and (mostly) wonderful flavors.  Your meal will very likely consist of the classics - Turkey (have you tried deep fried...awesome - but be careful!!!), ham, stuffing, cranberry, sweet potatoes, gravy, various salads from recipes old and new. These are all delicious foods, but they can present quite a challenge when trying to select one wine to hang in with so many different flavor profiles. Turkey and ham have both fairly mellow flavors; stuffing will have various herbs, spices, nuts, oysters; sweet potatoes may have a sugary sweet glaze; gravy may be from the "extra" bits of the turkey and have a slightly gamy aspect.

A nice fruity, lighter bodied Pinot Noir from Oregon or California can provide an excellent option that will pair nicely with just about all the flavors that your feast provides.  The key aspects of a lighter bodied Pinot Noir is that the fruit flavor will have a perceived sweetness (typically not actual sugary sweetness - read more), and Pinot Noir wines are fairly high in acidity. A little sweetness and a little acid will help complement and not clash with most dishes - provided they are not dessert level sweetness (beware that canned fruit cocktail salad!). 

While you guests are waiting for dinner and your Pinot Noir is chilling to the right serving temperature (55-ish degrees), severing some sparkling wine provides a nice palate cleanser, and would go nicely with some light appetizers to keep those big appetites at bay!  Try a Spanish Cava as a nice, value priced alternative to Champagne or California Sparkling.


Thursday, November 19, 2015

Weekly Wine Review - Spanish Red - 1994 R. López de Heredia Rioja Gran Reserva Viña Tondonia

López de Heredia is one of my favorite wineries in Rioja.  They age their wines beyond the requirements of the Rioja wine region.  Their white Rioja (Rioja blanco) is one of my favorite white wines of all time. Today's gem stowed away in our luggage from our last trip to Spain, and I'm soooo glad it did!  We stopped by just to pick up a few bottles, and were lucky enough to find some Gran Reserva level wine available. A splurge wine price point, but some wines are just worth it... let's see if this one is!!!

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Weekly Wine Review - German White - 2013 Weingut Geil Riesling Kabinett

If you keep only one wine on hand, I suggest a dry or off-dry Riesling.  A great pairing for many types of foods - seafood, lighter pastas, and oh, ever seen the smoked gouda pasta salad at Whole Foods?  Try it with a Riesling and prepare to be amazed!  Today's wine is a Kabinett level from the Rheinhessen region of Germany.