Friday, December 4, 2015

Monthly Picks: December '15 - Happy Holidays

"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.

SpierHead Winery 2014 Riesling - $19
This Riesling will wake-up your senses with loads of lemon-lime and mineral characters on the fresh and vibrant nose and the bright and (slightly) effervescent palate. Look for layers of honey dew, herbs and pear. Clean, crisp, terroir-driven Riesling.
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Road 13 Vineyards 2014 Old Vines Chenin Blanc - $27
This Chenin Blanc offers delicate and complex aromas of kiwi fruit, minerals, apricot, lime, ripe peach and raw honey on the subtle nose. The palate is concentrated and full-ish with body and texture from 6.5g/l of residual sugar and succulent, tropical fruit flavours.
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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.

Cellar Hand 2014 Free Run White - $16
The nose offers ripe, delicate aromas of tropical and orchard fruit, most notably: pineapple, mango, apricot and nectarine. The medium-bodied palate follows with similar fruit flavours and added citrus notes and acidity.
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Le Vieux Pin 2013 Ava - $35
A Southern Rhone-inspired blend of Viognier, Roussanne and Marsanne (50-41-9%, respectively), that welcomes your appreciation with exotic tropical fruit, juicy white peach and crisp lemon characters on the delicate, floral-infused nose and on the rich, long-lasting palate where added layers of minerals, spice and lime rind await.
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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.

Blue Mountain Vineyard and Cellars 2014 Gamay Noir - $23
The medium-plus bodied palate is Beaujolaise-Village-ish with a good balance of texture between bright, red fruit and fleshy-tangy flavours, finishing long with lingering wild berry acidity and spice.
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Stag's Hollow Winery 2014 Renaissance Grenache - $40
Owns a rich and bright palate with excellent length and continuity from the nose and just the faintest hint of residual sugar. Fine, smoky tannins and huckleberry acidity frame the ripe, juicy, red fruit and funky, savoury flavours. Christmas cake candied fruit and spices linger on the long finish.
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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.

Tinhorn Creek Vineyards 2014 Chardonnay - $17
Stonefruit, pineapple and light spice grace the muted, cool nose of this Chardonnay from the Southern Okanagan Valley. The palate is juicy and generous, yet, grounded with mineral and citrus flavours, finishing crisp with lingering lemon zest and vanilla spice.
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JoieFarm 2012 "En Famille" Reserve Gewurztraminer - $28
Classic lychee, raw honey and floral characters, dialled-up to '11', on the uber crowd-pleasing, tropical fruit-infused nose and on the lip-smacking, off-dry, juicy palate where generous citrus acidity keeps the long, spicy finish clean and balanced.
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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.

Cassini Cellars 2012 Maximus - $34
A blend of 53% Cabernet Sauvignon, 44% Merlot, 2% Petit Verdot and 1% Cabernet Franc, opening with a seductive nose of black licorice, cassis liqueur, blackberry jam, toasted oak, tobacco leaf, peppercorn and vanilla aromas. The full-bodied and full-flavoured palate follows with similar flavours and silky-smooth tannins, finishing very long with well-balanced, lip-smacking acidity and lingering cassis liqueur, sweet oak and spice notes.
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Burrowing Owl Estate Winery 2012 Athene - $38
The "Athene" is Burrowing Owl's vivacious Syrah-Cabernet Sauvignon blend (53%-47% respectively) that takes full advantage of the warm 2012 vintage, delivering ripe, dark fruit and intense, savoury herb characters on the charming nose and the complex, well-structured, mouth-watering palate.
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 - Liam Carrier ©copyright 2015

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