Life itself is the proper
"....eat thy bread with joy, and drink thy wine with a merry heart..."
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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
|BEST BUYS FOR
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.
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.
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.