EDMONTON - There are so many great wines that go with turkey or ham that it’s sometimes hard to pick one everyone will enjoy
But if you are having a big family gathering and cost might be an issue, it’s hard to do better than the 2006 Castillo de Monseran Garnacha from Carinena, Spain, at $13.95.
There’s bright, ripe fruit on the nose, with suggestions of raspberries and ripe cherries and a slight herbal, minerally component. The soft palate has gobs of concentrated, crisp, minerally raspberry flavours, with hints of spice, black cherry and licorice.
For Christmas morning breakfast, a winner is always the non-vintage Canella Blood Orange Mimosa Cocktail from Venice ($15.95). It’s a wine cocktail made from grape wine and the juice and pulp of crimson-fleshed Sicilian blood oranges. The finest cultivars are blended to achieve the best combination of flavours, fragrance and colour. Into the light, fruity, very tasty drink go dark-hued Moro oranges; tasty, sweet Tarocco oranges and the tender Sanguinello.For a white wine to sip with family and friends throughout the festive season, a 2008 Erath Oregon Pinot Gris at $23.95 is a good choice. Swirl in the glass to reveal aromas of banana and honeydew melon. In the mouth, tropical fruit, lemon and floral notes are seamlessly balanced with a good acidic backbone.
If you are having steak or ribs and some of your family or guests must have a red wine, try the 2007 Cusumano Nero D’Avola at $18.95. Nero d’Avola is Sicily’s most popular red grape and used in the region’s best selling varietal wines grown near the Vitoria region. Nero D’Avola means “Avola Black,” which describes the deep, dark colour of the grape. The ruby-red wine explodes with bright cherry fruit, balanced acidity and spices.
If you are looking for a red wine that will pair with white and dark meat, a sound buy is the 2007 Domaine Arlaud Bourgogne Rouge Roncevie Vielles Vignes from Burgundy ($32.95). A new, travelled generation is taking over in Burgundy and Herve Arlaud has watched in glee as his son Cyprian and daughter Bertille have taken the family’s winery in Morey-St.-Denis to new heights. Bertille cares for the vines by hand and horse. Winemaker Cyprian let’s the quality of the fruit come through by minimal intervention. This is a straight forward Pinot Noir, with notes of cherries, blackberies, earth and spice
Another versatile wine that will pair well with poultry, pork, lighter red meat, grilled vegetables and soft ripe cheeses is the 2009 Mollydooker The Violinist Verdelho from McLaren Vale, Australia, selling for $33.95. The aromatics of this white wine suggest ripe, fruit and the palate is full of pineapple, stone fruit and citrus flavours. The lingering finish is slightly tart.
A full-bodied, vibrant white that will also stand up to spicy turkey stuffing and dark meat is the rich 2008 Condrieu Vins de Vienne, a 100 per cent Viognier wine from Rhone, France, ($57.95 .) t’s excellent. Almond and apricot notes on a generous and concentrated wine that should be enjoyed now
My Scottish mum and her family often made steak pie for Christmas dinner and a wine that would go with such fare is the 2005 Bordeaux-blend Vilafonte Series C, from South Africa ($58.95). It’s one of South Africa’s best wines and only 25 barrels were made. Sage, plums and earthy notes on the nose with blackberries and cherries on a palate, which has silky, fine tannins.
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