I am not a wine expert, but I am an expert at drinking wine. I like to mix it up with my choices. I am not opposed to drinking white in the middle of winter in front of a roaring fire. I also have been known to enjoy a chilled pinot noir on a warm summer evening.
One thing is for sure: the Holiday season means enjoying some libations, and wine is at the top of my list!
We PGG like to support our local businesses. One of our favorite local wine shops is “The Wise Old Dog” on South Quaker Lane in West Hartford, CT. We go here when we need something different; not the same old bottle of Pinot Grigio. They are able to help us stay within our $10-$15 a bottle range for our week night glass, but can also help us stay within that budget for a selection of Holiday wines. Our friend, Jacob, helped us pick out a few that are guaranteed to be well received by our guests and ourselves.
Some of his favorites are from his go-to wine importer, Cynthia Hurley French Wines out of Newton, MA. He chose three for us that he promised we would love. I also must note that French wines are what I lean towards whenever I am picking out some wines with no assistance. They rarely disappoint.
The first he chose for us is a Muscadet. A bottle of 2014 Chateau La Touche Sur Lie. This wine would go great with the ever present holiday appetizer of shrimp cocktail. It would also be a good pairing with oysters or lobster. Muscadet is a dry white French wine made from the melon grape, produced at the western end of the Loire Valley. The moderate alcohol levels of Muscadet (always under 12%) allow them to complement many types of dishes without overwhelming them.
The second bottle Jacob chose for us is a Red Rhone wine. A 2014 Domaine le Clos des Lumieres, Cotes du Rhone. This bottle is a mix of grenache and syrah. We are pairing this wine with our main dish. You could drink it with practically anything from charcuterie to cheese – roast chicken, pork belly, garlicky sausages, grilled lamb, the Christmas roast. It is a bright red that will liven up your meal.
Lastly, he picked out a Brut. A Domaine J. Laurens Le Moulin Brut Blanquette De Limoux Méthode Traditionnelle. It is a toasty bubbly that is vibrant and zesty. We have decided to mix it up and serve this with our dessert. We are serving a fruit tart and are very excited to celebrate the end of the meal with this bottle.
We are so excited to taste these picks and we hope this sparks you to head to your favorite local wine shop and get friendly with the staff. Let them lead the way, tell them your ideas and likes, and be open to new varietals. Variety is, after all, the spice of life. And who doesn’t like a little spice? Especially for the holidays!
Enjoy what you have chosen and don’t forget to drink responsibly. Merry Winemas to you and yours!