Posts Tagged ‘Wine Recommendation’
Like many families, our Thanksgiving table will probably look a little something like this:
- 1 gigantic, heavily seasoned turkey (Method of cooking still to be determined.)
- Mounds of mashed potatoes
- Cranberry sauce
- Possibly sweet potatoes
- A vegetable…Brussels Sprouts, anyone?
- A new mystery dish that we stumbled across that sounds quite good.
- And of course – WINE
As for our Thanksgiving wine – I usually go for something relatively inexpensive and something that will complement (keep my fingers crossed) our traditional feast.
There’s one minor problem though: check out the menu – it’s all over the place! How do you find a harmonious and perfectly delicious wine that will jive with this bountiful and wildly contrasting array of food and flavors?
I’d like to recommend abandoning a few things this Thanksgiving:
- Forget Wine “Rule” #1: White wine goes with White meat.
- Forget Wine “Rule” #2: Red wine with Red meat.
- For now, leave that expensive first-growth Bordeaux in the cellar or rack.
Why? Because this bruising kaleidoscope of flavors has the ability to wreak havoc on even the best wines. Unfortunately, there’s no ‘sure rule’ that is going to work perfectly with this wide open spread – which is why I suggest not putting the ’76 Lafite on the dinner table. If you’re eager to impress your family or friends with the fancy stuff, share a toast before the actual meal or save it for the end of night. It’ll have a better shot to shine when the spotlight is focused squarely on the wine and not the holiday meal.
Here are a few wine picks that should measure up to the meal, go easy on your wallet, and please most of the people grazing at your dining room table.
1.) On the “I only drink white wine” side of the fence, I’d suggest either a dry or slightly sweet Gewurztraminer or Riesling from Alsace, France. Even better, a white wine blended with either one or both. The delicious and refreshing floral notes, coupled with grapefruit and peach flavors, should go the distance with the meal and your crowd of discriminating palates.
2.) In the red corner, I tend to think that bigger and bolder style red wines such as American Cabernet Sauvignon, California Zinfandel, or any of that deep, ruby red stuff that’s not at all translucent work better. However, my ultimate heavyweight contender for this nightmare of a menu would have to be an earthy, herbaceous, and spicy red wine from France’s Cotes Du Rhone wine region. These wines can take a beating – no matter what you throw at them! I’m sure there are a number of folks that may beg to differ and would suggest a Pinot Noir, but in general, I feel that most Pinot Noirs under $20 cannot match up to a meal like this.
So go out there and find a great little place where the focus is on selling premium wine, and don’t be afraid to ask for some help. Most store owners and their wine staff can offer some terrific suggestions to at least take some of the pressure off of you while you try to decide whether to deep-fry, oven-roast, or smoke your holiday bird.
Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!
Don’t turn around, oh oh. Der Kommissar’s in town, oh oh! It’s wasn’t the Commissioner that recently visited us, but it sure was a damn fine German doctor that made a house call to WineLife365.
“Dr. L”, as it’s known in wine circles, is a terrific “purist” style Riesling from Mosel, Germany. What I mean by “purist” is that this wine tasted like real crushed fruit, free of “special” additives that are suppose to enhance a wine’s natural flavors.
The 2008 Dr. Loosen Riesling is packed with apples and pears. However, all of this fruit does make this wine a tad sweet. Not too sweet though, but enough for me not to award it a 4 star WineLife365 rating.
I give the good doctor 3 Stars out of 4. If you dine on swine, this white wine is a perfect accompaniment.
Alles klar, Herr Kommissar?
WineLife365 Rating: 3-Star
I’ve been asked the two following questions more than once:
“What’s a great hot weather wine that’s perfect for sipping on the deck?”
“What kind of wine would you recommend to take to a backyard BBQ?”
The oppressive heat that we’ve been experiencing in the Northeast the past few days reminded me of these questions. So here’s my answer to both questions: Loire Valley White Wines! The great thing about this is that you have 3 options to choose from.
Choice #1: Muscadet. It’s simple, zippy lemon-lime flavors are easy drinking stuff that everyone will enjoy. If you’re shucking oysters and clams look no further. Muscadet and shells go hand and hand!
Choice #2: Vouvray. This is a little more serious kind of Loire Valley white wine that can range from being dry to semisweet to a “sweet-tarts” kind of sweet. You can also see the price tags going up higher than the typical Muscadet as well.
Choice #3: Sancerre. If you like and are familiar with Sauvignon Blanc then there’s a good chance that you will enjoy Sancerre just as much. Sancerre and Sauvignon Blanc taste very similar to one another. With Sancerre, be prepared to pony up $15 or more per pop.
The bottom line on all three of these Loire Valley wines is that they will make your lips pucker up a bit because of the tartness.
So there you have it, three great wines made to keep you cool when the temperature outside is sizzling.
Please put down the weekend section of your newspaper, pull up a chair, and grab a plate of spaghetti and meatballs along with a wine glass, because I want to share with you two wines this evening – a white, and one red that flat out pounded my taste buds like Ryan Howard taking batting practice.
First up, was a Sauvignon Blanc from Marlborough, New Zealand. By now, everyone should know that Marlborough is home to some of the tastiest Sauvignon Blancs on earth, right? So, I came across a name that I’d never heard of before and decided to give it a “taste drive”. This 2008 New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc was called Ponga. I was drawn to this white wine for three reasons: First, I love - I mean really LOVE New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc; second, it was a new wine (at least to me); and third, it was priced under $10…which you don’t see very often when it comes to New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc.
So how was the 2008 Ponga? Well, not very good in my opinion. It was of a lesser quality than many of the New Zealand Sauvignon Blancs that I’ve tasted so far this year. It lacked that familiar grassiness and crisp acidity that I love about New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, and it had a very odd tasting nectarine and citrus flavor that didn’t do much for me. Finally, there was absolutely no finish in the finale of this wine to convince me to purchase it again.
Unfortunately, I have to give the 2008 Ponga 2 stars out of 4. It wasn’t completely dreadful, but it was pretty far off from the delicious “Marlborough Gold” costing just a few dollars more.
Next up on this Friday evening was the red, which came from the Stags Leap District in beautiful Napa Valley, California. It was a 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon called Angels Landing. If you didn’t already know, the Stag’s Leap District is home to some the finest made Cabernet Sauvignons in the world. However, precision-made Cabs from this part of the Napa neighborhood, in normal economic times, usually fetch prices between $50 to ”the sky is the limit”. But times are tough these days and everyone is feeling the pinch, even the wine industry. Which is why this a great time to discover lots of wines at bargain prices, if you’re willing to look for them and give them a try! Such was the case with this obscure looking Cabernet Sauvignon from Angels Landing. This wine was priced at $19.99 a bottle and had a label that I had never seen before. But I thought, $20 for a Stags Leap District wine – it’s gotta be at least halfway decent?! So, I picked up a bottle of this “unknown” Cab to see for myself if it was indeed as “heavenly” as I imagined it.
So, was the 2007 Angels Landing Cabernet Sauvignon heaven on earth? You bet your sweet bippy it was - and then some! I only have one word to describe this California Cab - WOW!! If you’re looking for a flawless California Cab, then this just might be the best buy on the market right now. Again, I paid $19.99 for this California Cab and it tasted more like a $50 dollar bottle of wine. I could go on and on about this wine, but I’ll stop right now to allow you to head straight over to your local wine establishment to buy as much of it as you possibly can! This wine will blow your mind – trust me!
I give the 2007 Angels Landing Cabernet Sauvignon 4 Stars! I would strongly encourage you to purchase as much of this wine as you can before it’s all gone.