Monday, December 6, 2010

Great Gift Ideas!

It is that time of year when everyone is searching for that perfect gift for all the people on their list. For this reason I decided to look for some wines, spiritis and beer that are available in store now that will certainly bring a smile to the special persons face.

For the wine guru on your list here a few suggestions that may knock their socks off. The 2000 Moccagatta Bric Balin Barbaresco ($40/750ml) is known as being one of the most prestigious wines produced in Italy, made from the Nebbiolo grape and aged in Slovenian oak this wine looks like rust and smells like roses and is something everyone should try at least once in their lifetime, especially since it is a 2000 vintage. A new wine out from the increasingly popular producer of the cult classic “The Prisoner” is the new Orin Swift Abstract ($25/750ml). A blend of Grenache, Petit Verdot and Syrah, it is what you would expect from Orin Swift; big, bold and fruity.

For the people on your list that enjoy a nice stiff drink to wine here are some spirits that will help keep them warm this winter. The Glenmorangie Nectar d’Or12 year old Single Malt Scotch ($60/750ml) is matured in oak whisky casks for ten years and is finished in used Sauternes casks giving this whisky a pleasant honey note that makes this single malt smooth and mellow with beautifully combined nutty sweetness, cinnamon and a delicate layer of apricots and honey. Or if you are looking for the perfect holiday liqueur to make your holiday cocktail more fun and festive try the Leopold Bros. New England Cranberry Liqueur ($32/750ml). Three pounds of New England bog-grown cranberries go into every bottle of this fantastic liqueur, mix 2 to 1 with either vodka or gin, add a splash of club soda.

For the beer lover in the family we have a few rare items that may peak their interest. From BrewDog in Scotland comes the Tactical Nuclear Penguin ($70/375ml) a 32% ABV monster of a beer, in which the beer is frozen over a weeks time, then the ice crystals are removed making the beer more concentrated while increasing the alcohol. Another rarity that recently came into stock is the Deus Brut des Flanders ($40/750ml) that is kind of a mix of a Belgium style Farmhouse Ale and Champagne. In fact the beer is brewed in the Flanders region of Belgium then transported to France where the beer is refined using an ancestral technique of riddling and yeast removal.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Wines for Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving is the time when family and friends gather to stuff their faces with those holiday treats that we love so much. Traditionally there are three main dishes served on this special occasion, Roast Beef, Ham and of coarse Turkey! The most asked question I answer during this time of year is what pairs best with any of these entrees.

When pairing wine to Roast Beef or any beef entrée you want to focus on wines that will not be over powered by the beef itself. For this reason I lean towards big full-bodied reds like the Seghesio Sonoma County Zinfandel ($21/750ml) that offers an intense plum flavor coupled with hints of baking spice. For those who prefer a softer red should turn to areas such as Bordeaux, France. The Chateau Paveil de Luze Margaux ($25/750ml) exhibits a softer more elegant side of Cabernet Sauvignon not typically seen by their Californian counterparts.

With Ham I prefer a Syrah or Shiraz mainly due to the hint of bacon fat found within the varietal. The Peter Lehman Shiraz ($16/750ml) from the Barossa Valley of Australia pairs perfectly with its blueberry and blackberry flavors that counteract the saltiness of the ham, along with that hint of bacon fat that helps the flavors mesh sublimely. Since not everyone enjoys red wine, here is a white that will pair nicely as well. The Batterieberg Detonation Riesling ($14/750ml) is an exceptionally dry Riesling, which can be a tough thing to find in Germany, but has flavors of crisp granny smith apples with a pleasant mineral backbone.
I saved the best for last, Turkey! Turkey has soft and subtle flavors that make pairing difficult. I my experience you do not want anything to overpowering otherwise you can’t taste that delicious bird. So for your red drinkers the Adelsheim Oregon Pinot Noir ($28/750ml) is lovely, its soft, has flavors of cherries paired with a dusty earthiness but most importantly it does not overpower the turkey. When pairing whites look for something ever so slightly sweet with a bright acidity. The Domaine Pichot Vouvray ($14/750ml) made of 100% Chenin Blanc explodes with flavors of pear and green apple followed by a nice crisp acidity that cuts through sweetness experienced in your first taste. These wines will make a great addition to your Thanksgiving no matter the entrée. Enjoy!