The Thanksgiving table screams wine and whereas there is no one particular wine that can accommodate the diverse foods at your table, Pinot Noir is certainly one of the more user-friendly wines. And given that Thanksgiving is time with family and friends, this Benovia Pinot Noir, only the second release from the Martaella Vineyard, is a great way to say thanks to those special people in your life.
Christmas is coming up. While I admit to never really understanding where the idea for 12 days of Christmas came from (Chanukah at 8? Sure), it’s a thing now. So with that in mind, and in an attempt to find some wines to get for the wine lovers in your life, here is a (actually two) list of 12 wines for Christmas. The criterion for wines to make this list was strict: A) I had to think of it, and 2) it had to be reasonably available to obtain. I tried to list current vintages and pricing available although other vintages and different pricing I am sure exists.
Ah, rosé. For many people it seems at best to be a wanna-be red wine with training wheels; at worst it’s a sugar and strawberry one trick pony pink wine. But great rosé can be one of those go-to wines that accompany a delirious number of foods. But - just try finding a good one, right? Well, the Triennes Rosé enters this conversation and, voilà , you find yourself nearly speechless. Composed of 60% Cinsault along with Grenache, Syrah and Merlot, all harvested at night to retain better flavors, the Triennes, located in Aix-en-Provence, near Marseille is what rosé is really all about – poise, confidence, flavor and diversity.
Autumn is here and for most of us, that means shifting from the lighter summer rosés, whites and BBQ Reds into something that matches with heartier food or sitting by the fire on a chilly fall evening. At every party though there is someone who says they only drink white wine. Sometimes he or she means sweet, but often dry wines work too. Just like red wines, however, there are white wines that work great for the autumn season too.
Summer is here (or close enough anyway) and for many people, that means taking out the grill, inviting friends over and having a barbecue. For many of us wine lovers, choosing the right wine for a barbeque can become challenging. There are a lot of reasons for this. It’s usually hot or at least warm out and some wines just don’t work in the heat. Further, parties often involve groups of people and that means finding easily obtainable wines that don’t cost an arm and a leg to buy multiple bottles. Finally, the wine needs to match the food. Barbecue is big food with a lot of flavors. A wine needs to stand up to that otherwise why not just drink water. To start with, here is a break down on the types of wines to look for and then a few, but far from complete list of suggestions.
Discovering the interior of Napa Valley wineries is as exciting as experiencing the exterior of this magnificent place. Napa Valley wine caves offer visitors a chance to see a winery’s inner beauty, you’re able to witness the more refined details pertaining to the production of Napa Valley wines. Whether they’re chiseled into famous Napa Valley mountainsides or dug deep into the rolling hills, the Napa Valley’s wine caves are very cool (literally and figuratively speaking). The views from the depths of these hidden spaces are intriguing and provide insight into the complexities of winemaking; the bottling and aging, the importance of a wines environment, the temperature and storage. All these aspects of different wine making styles offer a glimpse into how a vineyard produces unique characteristics for their wines. Historically, wine caves reach as far back in history as wine itself, the idea of storing wine in an underground cool climate apparently made a lot of sense then as it does now, and the art of constructing highly functional modern wine caves has now been perfected. In order to cruise around in a Napa Valley winery’s wine cave, you’ll need to plan in advance and make a tour and tasting reservation, most tours include a wine cave excursion but feel free to ask. Here is a list of the Napa Valley’s five best wine caves:
Sauvignon Blancs grown in the Napa Valley region have striking aromas that translate into even more specific palate characteristics. This varietal is extremely versatile and the characteristics change from region to region, for instance, in France Sauvignon blanc is labeled “Sancerre” or “Pouilly-fume” named after the actual places and can take on grassier aromas then one would find in the Napa Valley. Sauvignon Blancs grown in the Napa Valley provide visitors with such specific tasting profiles and these easily diversify your wine tasting. Experiencing a Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc will give your wine flights a more well-rounded wine range ultimately aiding in furthering your wino knowledge (sometimes a goal among visiting wine novices). Here in the Napa Valley our Sauvignon Blanc is fully ripened in the heat creating bright citrus, grapefruit, and passion fruit aromas, alongside juicy peach, nectarine and melon nuances. These flavors and tastes contrast perfectly with the rich oaky chardonnays that are often highlighted in Napa Valley wine tasting. Also, Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc is known to make many ladies swoon with excitement, women tend to be its biggest fans. These Five wineries produce the best Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc in addition to the perfect place to taste them.
We know the Bible talks about wine; in fact Jesus' first recorded miracle was turning water IntoWine so we're assuming he might have been a Cab drinker. Okay, maybe Pinot. Definitely not Viognier. Regardless, being his disciple was a tough job: little sleep, lack of food, being yelled at, walking in sandals all day without proper arch support. So to honor Easter and the 12 disciples we’ve paired a specific wine to each disciple (actually, 11 disciples - no one wants their wine to be associated with Judas – we call that Zima, and it too died an ignoble death).
For those of you who drink really high end wine, the prices over the last few years have been sky rocketing. I am not speaking about the price of DRC, Lafite Rothschild or Screaming Eagle. Luxury goods will always be expensive and the top and rarefied air items will always receive a premium based on scarcity and distribution. No, I am speaking of wines that don’t approach that level. If you drink with enough older wine lovers, eventually the stories come out about how inexpensive wine used to be. They will regale you with their exploits of getting a case of Chateaux Margaux for a few baseball cards and some chewing gum as trade. Well, ok, maybe not quite, but tales of buying 1982 First Growths for $20 a bottle seem to abound. And that’s understandable, just as stories about buying a home thirty years ago or a fancy car re told.
Napa Valley Zinfandels are celebrated for their easy drinking allure and bold juicy flavors making this varietal a total crowd pleaser. Zinfandels made in the Napa Valley are iconic, although some may say a little forgotten, however, it’s a flavor profile known for intense black fruits and spice which render Napa Valley Zinfandels as the most epically jammy varietal produced. The Napa Valley’s warm California climate is fundamental to winemaking and Napa Valley Zinfandels are a great example of how winemakers utilize that heat, skillfully harnessing the temperatures to produce some of the most intense wine the Napa Valley has to offer. Zinfandels crafted in the Napa Valley region, especially old vine Zinfandels, have exploding flavors that ripen outrageously giving life to wines that create an exceptional food and wine experience. When you find a way to always have excellent Napa Valley Zinfandel around it’s sure to illuminate any meal because Napa Valley Zinfandel is, more than anything else, a food pairing wine. These Napa Valley wineries with the best Zinfandel are recommendations specifically known for their outstanding, award-winning Zinfandel.