Christmas and New Year’s are just around the corner. As you decide what to wine to serve with your holiday dinner, here are some suggestions for holiday wines. All merit a seat at any dinner table and represent many countries throughout the world.
White Holiday Wines
I love to discover new varieties, and Italy always has a varietal I have not experienced. For the holidays I suggest trying the Italian grape called Grillo. Grillo is a cross between Moscato and Catarratto. It is one of Sicily’s most popular white grape. Grillo is known for its bright acidity and is an alternative to Pinot Grigio and Sauvignon Blanc. The 2016 Tenuta Regaleali Grillo Cavallo Delle Fate delivered nice acidity and minerality with aromas of limestone and grapefruit and flavors of citrus, primarily lemon.
From France discover the Les Vignes de Bila-Haut Côtes du Roussillon from M. Chapoutier. This white blend combines Grenache Blanc, Grenache Gris, and Macabeu. It is obvious that this wine has grapes grown in limestone and clay soils. The type of soil comes through with the salty notes that express the minerality and acidity of the wine. On the nose, the wine exhibits citrus, lemon, and grapefruit. On the palate, one finds a bright and refreshing wine with citrus, stone fruit and melon flavors
Red Holiday Wines
If you are looking for a bigger, more robust wine, Bodega Norton has a new line called the Signature Winemaking portfolio. The grapes come from the Luján de Cuyo region of Mendoza, Argentina. I recently sampled the Privada Family Blend, consisting of Malbec, Merlot, and Cabernet Sauvignon. Find earthy aromas of tobacco and leather. On the palate, discover a rich yet complex and smooth wine that emphasizes the flavors of blackberry and cherry.
Another French wine from Bila-Haut is Le Vignes de Bila-Haut Rouge Du Roussillon Villages. I have had this wine in the past, and it is consistently delicious. Find dark fruit, black cherry, and currant on the palate. This Rhone blend of mainly Syrah combined with Grenache and Carignan is a light-medium bodied wine. Please note this wine needs some time to breathe.
Two other French wines to consider are the 2015 Ferraton Pere & Fils Côtes Du Rhone Samorëns, a wine that would go perfectly with a turkey dinner because the wine has a tart quality and the flavor of cranberries is quite evident. One will also find flavors of blueberries and licorice. The wine blends primarily Grenache with Syrah and Cinsault
Also consider the 2015 Ferraton Pere & Fils Crozes-Hermitage La Matiniére, a Syrah that is rich and smooth with cherry flavors.
Dessert Holiday Wines
Finally, Ascension Cellars Rapture is a red dessert wine made of Primitivo. This luscious almost port-like wine is a blend of mostly Primitivo with a small amount of Cabernet Sauvignon. The wine exhibits a lightness that does not overwhelm with an almost sweet and savory quality, which comes from the dark fruits and hints of baking spices. This wine makes for a fabulous end any delightful holiday meal especially