Saturday, December 1, 2012

Monthly Picks: December 2012

"Which wine should I take to Christmas dinner?" "What pairs with turkey or ham?" You may find yourself asking these questions whether you celebrate Christmas on the 24th or 25th or whether you're hosting a similarly festive event during the holiday season. Below are suggestions to help you answer these questions with Canadian wine selections.

Paired with...

...pre-dinner snacks
Something lively and crisp is needed here to wake-up those taste-buds and get them ready for the forthcoming dinnerpolooza.

Fairview Cellars 2011 Sauvignon Blanc - $20
As total production for this refreshing and crisp wine jumps from 190 cases in 2010 to 600 in 2011, you should have an easier time sourcing it at VQA and private wine stores.
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La Frenz Winery 2011 Sauvignon Blanc - $22
The 2011 release may be the winery's best yet with a rich offering of citrus and tropical fruit flavours and aromas. The balance of residual sugar-to-rich fruit-to-crisp acidity is nearly perfect and makes for a lovely, mouth-watering mouth feel.
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...turkey (white meat)
For the white meat, go for a barrel fermented, single-varietal or blended white wine. Something with character, but not too much.

Road 13 Vineyards 2010 Stemwinder - $15
A blend of 66% Chardonnay, 26% Sauvignon Blanc and 8% Chardonnay Musqué, this pale gold hued wine offers a lovely bouquet of pears, apples, honeydew melon, vanilla and light citrus aromas.
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Stag's Hollow Winery 2011 Renaissance Sauvignon Blanc - $25
100% barrel fermentation in new oak and active lees contact. Despite this, the wine never feels heavy or overdone like many-a-Fumé Blanc from California, while the lees contact adds complexity in the form of sweet brioche notes on the nose and texture on the palate.
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...turkey (dark meat)
I love Gamay Noir with the dark turkey meat. A subtle and medium-bodied Pinot Noir is a good substitute.

Generation Seven Wines 2012 Nouveau - $12
Produced as an ode to Beaujolais Nouveau, this charming Gamay Noir is immediately engaging when you get your first sniff of the vibrant raspberry jam and maraschino cherry aromas on the playful nose.
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SpierHead Winery 2010 Pinot Noir - $18
Nice sweet cherry notes on the nose blend nicely with light French oak aromas and a hint of vanilla. The dry palate offers similar flavours and a nice vein of acidity.
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For the Christmas-Ham folks out there I suggest a slightly off-dry white with orchard fruit flavours to match the apple/honey glaze.

Little Straw Vineyards 2011 Tapestry - $17
Apple, pear, pineapple, papaya and grapefruit flavours are supported by a nice balance between the full-ish texture produced from 17 g/l of residual sugar and the proportionate citrus acid that leaves a tangy finish with hints of mineral and spice notes.
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JoieFarm 2011 A Noble Blend - $24
For the second year in a row the blend for the JoieFarm flagship wine remains a Riesling-Gewurztraminer leading concoction of exotic fruit characters and well-balanced, refreshing acidity.
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...roast beef
For the roast-lovers I recommend making a splash and introducing your family and friends to the joys of BC Cabernet Franc.

Fort Berens Estate Winery 2010 Cabernet Franc - $25
Dense and intriguing on the dark berry nose enhanced with sage, menthol, vanilla bean, oak spice and light anise aromas.
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River Stone Estate Winery 2010 Cabernet Franc - $26
An Old World-leaning, masculine palate rich with mineral and dark berry flavours supported by fine, round tannins. Good acidity balances the mouth feel and completes the mouth-watering finish which lingers with peppy cardamon and coffee grind notes.
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Generally, any sweet wine is considered a dessert wine where the key pairing rule is that the wine should be sweeter than the pudding its being served with.

Tinhorn Creek Vineyards 2011 Oldfield Series Kerner Icewine - $30 (200ml)
It's the juxtaposition of the sugary, fruit puree syrup and mouth-watering acid that makes for the uniquely icewine experience: an intense, lively texture, worth the price of admission.
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Cassini Cellars 2010 Moscato - $24 (375ml)
This charming, honeydew and spicy peach flavoured wine opens with a lovely nose of pecans, tangerines and violets and will compliment your favourite nutty pie or crème brûlée rather than compete with it.
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 - Liam Carrier ©copyright 2012

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