SEATTLE, WA, December 23, 2017: Christmas is here and nothing helps cement that in our minds than simply trying to go shopping, anywhere right now. In case your last minute shopping includes a trip to the wine store – for your table or as a host gift, following is a roundup of delicious wines to help make your meal unforgettable.
And your shopping easier.
There is frankly only one protein that’s the king – Prime Rib. But prime rib does not always demand a robust red. Think outside the box and consider one of the following. Descriptions provide pairing ideas, from cheeses to dinner.
2012 Domaine Carneros Estate Brut Cuvee – $40
American sparkling wine from Napa Valley’s own Domaine Carneros is some very tasty domestic bubbly, is easy to find and reasonably priced. A wine that’s beautiful on the nose with lingering aromas of Bartlett pears, white peach and lychee for days. This wine hits the palate in full stride, displaying its fruit prowess, along with the subtle hints of baking spices and finishes in a very tasty, creamy finish that hangs out quite long.
2014 Domaine Carneros Brut Rose – $40
If you had to only pick one wine that would go with nearly everything on the table, this is your wine. Rose wines, in general, go with everything and adding bubbles to them makes that pairing combination even more endless. You’ll be rewarded with notes of red currant, peaches and cream, strawberry, and a small touch of key lime on the finish.
Italy’s famous sparkling wine is a crowd favorite as it’s easy to drink, light on the palate and more affordable than most quality Champagne.
Maschio Extra Dry Prosecco – $14
The vineyards that supply the fruit to this tasty bottle are grown in stony soil with alkaline sandstone. The net result is a bubbly that exhibits notes of orange blossoms, white peach, lightly toasted almonds and a bit more peach. This is an affordable, easy-drinker that’s a great way to get the evening started.
2016 Pacific Rim Wallula Vineyard Riesling – $15
An off-dry Riesling that is about as ‘naked” as one can get in this very expressive grape. You’ll find flavors/aromas of jasmine, river rock, white flower, green apples, pear and a hint of peach. Pairs perfectly with a cheese platter or spicy foods.
2016 Napa Cellars Chardonnay – $20
From the world-renown area of Napa comes this affordable Chardonnay that shows a good combination of fruit, acidity and body. It does go through 100% malolactic fermentation that helps it come across more creamy on the tongue but they only use 35% new French Oak so it’s far from being a “butter bomb”. It’s very food-friendly and would make a great pairing with various salads and cheeses.
2015 J. Bookwalter Suspense Cabernet Franc – $60
This wine is easily the best example of Cabernet Franc I’ve ever had in the new world. Sourced from the family-owned Conner Lee Vineyards near Othello Washington, winemaker, Caleb Foster, does a masterful job on this wine. You’re nose and palate will be bombarded with glorious amounts of cassis, ripe cherries, dark chocolate, rose petals, a slight hint of bell pepper and marionberries. The extraordinary long finish will remind you of those other intense ‘personal moments” with the best lover you’ve ever had.
2013 Efeste Ceidleigh Syrah: – $40
A delicious kaleidoscope of berries going on in the glass here. Black raspberry, blueberries for days, currant and blackberry with undertones of chocolate, peppered jerky and tar bubble. It has an incredible mouthfeel and texture on your tongue, enticing you to drink heartily. But show some restrain and savor every sip.
This is a wine that’s delicious now and has a finish that feels as if it lasts for days.
2013 Sartori di Verona: Amarone della Valpolicella DOCG – $55
Really love the old-world character of this wine, meaning that the acidity is strong here and will go great with food yet still plays second fiddle to the fruit. Notes of raisins, dried plums, black cherry and cocoa powder are on the forefront here. The finish ends with a lingering splash of cinnamon as the still young tannin structure combine with its depth of flavor and leave your palate wanting more.
2014 Emiliana Coyam Red – $40
From one of my favorite Chilean wineries that I visited back in 2013, comes this glorious red blend that’s 100% biodynamic. You’ll be rewarded with flavors red currant, bell pepper, forest floor funk, vanilla, black plums and blackberries. There’s long finish that hangs around longer than those certain relatives who don’t get the hint when it’s time to leave.
2014 Castello Banfi Rosso di Montalcino – $27
Every Christmas table should have a Sangiovese as it goes most excellent with so meat dishes, especially ones that are seasoned with fresh herbs. This is due to the lovely amount of spice, herbaceousness combined with the fruit and tannin structure of this wine. Flavors of violet, cherry and plum linger on the finish.
2014 Silver Totem Cabernet Sauvignon – $20
From the makers of the famous Pacific Rim Riesling, comes this tasty bottle of mostly Cab with a splash of Malbec and Syrah blended in that pulls fruit from both Walla Walla and Columbia Valley. You’ll find notes of black currants, cherries, dark chocolate, peppercorn and the scent of shoe polish. A good mid-palate transition into a lingering finish for the perfect palate cleanser to Prime Rib with horseradish.
2015 Terra Doro “Old-Vine” Deaver Vineyard Zinfandel – $25
A solid Zinfandel can easily handle a heavily spiced slab of meat and this one, from the vineyards planted in the late 1800s is a nice tongue twister. An intense combination of cinnamon, clove, allspice combine with raspberries, boysenberries and vanilla to leave a zesty explosion in your mouth. Good to the last drop.
2015 Terra Doro Barbera – $18
The wonderful thing about Barbera is how it combines intensity yet lightness on the palate in such a way that completely lends itself to going well with cured meats and pastas. This wine has some really nice cola flavor, rainier cherries, ripe raspberries, pomegranate, vanilla and lightly toasted oak. Not only does this one go well with charcuterie but would also play with the a coffee-crusted prime rib.