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Bacchic Reflections


Find something you're passionate about and keep tremendously interested in it.

Life itself is the proper binge.

                                                                           Julia Child

 

 
         "....eat thy bread with joy, and drink thy wine with a merry heart..."   
                                                                         King Solomon,
                                                                         Ecclesiastes

                                                                            
 
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Reds worth cellaring...Cabs, Pinots, Other
                            B.E.'s Cellar Notes

Special Aged Wines:   B.E.'s Discoveries

Virginia/North Carolina:   B.E.'s Discoveries

Interesting Links:   see  Other Interests

Wine Books for Wine Lovers
            see B.E.'s Wine Tips

Articles by B.E.   see  B.E. in print
      Starting a Wine Cellar:   B.E.'s  Wine Tips
      Wines for aging:  see B.E. Cellar Notes
B.E. on organic and biodynamic wines
                  see  article

BEST BUYS FOR WINTER  FEASTS

REDS
Domaine Guy Farges 2014 Saint-Joseph   Rhône Valley   $23-29**+
   Among my favorite  Rhône reds--some go for much more but this one, with its lovely rich berry flavors, is an excellent value; well-balanced and elegant, and quite drinkable now.  An excellent choice for roast or grilled meats--or makes a great gift for the winelover on your list. Check it out at A Southern Season.

PINOT NOIR: Often my first pick for roast fowl--turkey, chicken, quail, game hens.  Lighter ones rather than big tannic ones are the best choices, and among appellations to look for are these:  Sonoma Coast, Burgundy's Chorey-les-Beaune, Santenay and Côte Haute-de Beaune offer affordable choices. 
More full-bodied Pinots will also work with roast fowl, such as Pommard, Volnay, Chambolle Musigny from Burgundy--especially good choices for roast duck or goose. Your wallet can decide this, since Burgundies are expensive, but it's hard to beat their warmth of flavor and character.  Meantime:
Domaine Eden 2014 Pinot Noir  Santa Cruz Mountains  $35-45***  On sale at Chapel Hill Wine Co for $35.99 (while supplies last). Delectable! This second label from Mount Eden Winery, one of California's earliest pioneers with Burgundian-style Pinot comes from mature vines atop a mesa in Santa Clara Valley. Beautifully defined Pinot character, spicy berry flavors, excellent balance, very smooth and drinking deliciously now. Bring on the wild fowl, roast pork loin and such.

CABERNET FRANC.  Cab franc's red fruit flavors, notably red currants, are a great match with roast turkey and other roast fowl NC makes some excellent ones from such wineries as  Biltmore, Childress, Jones von Drehle, Grove, Sanctuary--check out at A Southern Season in Chapel Hill.
Chinon and Bourgeuil from the Loire Valley are excellent cab francs, from such producers as Olga Raffault, Bernard Baudry, Mabileau, Charles Joguet, Alliet. These wines have an earthy, mineral character that gains flavor interest with a few years aging. Well worth laying away for future feasts.

ZINFANDEL. I find most Zinfandels too big and tannic for roast turkey, but moderate priced ones can work, and their spiciness can nicely handle the variety of flavors, such as:  Dry Creek Vyd Heritage Vines 2015, $18-22*** -- a beautifully balanced Zin.
The bigger Zins can certainly handle rich meat stews, venison and the like.


Choice Whites
Mount Eden Chardonnay 2015  Edna Valley   $23-34***+  Don't say you don't like Chardonnay until you've tasted this one! Rich, intense flavors of toasted nuts, buttery apples, lemon zest, very nicely balanced with a deft touch of oak. Lingering finish very appealing--lovely with the likes of turbot or halibut with butter-sauteed mushrooms.   
Hugel Classic Riesling 2015  Alsace***   $19-23     If you want to know what a classic, pure dry Riesling is, buy this wine! Aromatic, with hints of floral and mineral, superbly balanced, with an acidity that gives it great verve, and fruit that is enticing and appetizing. I was simply delighted by the taste of this wine.
Château Graville-Lacoste 2015   Bordeaux   $15***  An excellent white Bordeaux, balanced and graceful; this blend of sauvignon blanc and sémillon has a broader flavor profile of stony citrus, very clean, a superb choice for fish and seafood. 
Steininger Gruner Veltliner 2015   Austria   $14-17***
  Very nicely balanced and flavorful--crisp, dry, a hint of mineral, excellent length.
King Estate Pinot Gris 2015   Oregon  $15-18**  Dry with some richness of honeyed pear flavors--a very affordable choice for roast turkey, also game hens.
Le Paradou Viognier 2016  Languedoc-Rousillon $15**  Appealing floral fragrance, nice and fresh crispness. An excellent aperitif.
Macon-Charnay 2015  Burgundy  $15-18**+   Bright chardonnay fruit, mineral accents, excellent acidity. Look for such producers as Jean Manciat, Domaine Renault, Domaine Pascal


,
   
Bubbles.........I always have one on ice, just in case. And a great way to launch a fine dinner:
Gloria Ferrer Brut Rosé   Carneros **+ $20-29  This sparkler--the flaming color of sunset--is lively and crisp with bright berryish accents. Made from pinot noir, a grape that excels in the cool Carneros region of Sonoma County.  A charmer.
Domaine Chandon Blanc de Noirs NV, California, $18-22**+  Tiny bubbles, bright, clean fruit, dry and quite delicious. Keep this sparkler on hand  as a great aperitif, year-round.  I've tasted this wine several times with great pleasure. An excellent value, too.
Mumm Brut Prestige  Napa Valley  $19**+  It's dry but the bright hints of peach and vibrant citrus whet the appetite with effervescent appeal. Also excellent value.


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                                                                                                          ©Barbara Ensrud