We began our Christmas festivities last night, and usually for holidays, I like to go with dependable wines - there’s always time to experiment and try more “unique” wines so I’d just rather stick with something I can trust on a holiday - although sometimes I can’t help but choose something a bit different.
To open last night, I chose the 2010 Domaine La Prevote Sauvignon Blanc Touraine (Loire), a light and enjoyable white to pair with cheeses before dinner. The wine is very pale in color, with lovely aromas and flavors of white citrus and flowers and a bit of herb, and cool stony characteristics, with just a hint of a tropical note. The best pairing for the wine from the cheeses, as I figured, was the fresh chevre, but the wine was bright and crisp and clean enough to work with all cheeses on the board.
With dinner (a delicious roast cooked medium rare) the wine was the 2008 Franciscan Estate Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa), and the pairing was perfect (and the wine was consumed a bit quicker than anticipated, as it was so enjoyable). The wine is dark purple in color, with characteristics of cassis, dark berry, vanilla, a bit of chocolate, and smooth baking spices. Full and luscious, the wine has a lovely texture, enough acidity to work well with the roast but would pair nicely with lots of hearty dishes, and big tannins, with a long finish.
Before dinner was over, I had to turn to a backup bottle, but fortunately there are so many to choose from - so I selected the Bodegas La Cartuja Priorat, a dark red wine with warm characteristics of dark fruit, smoke, and scorched earth, a lovely smooth texture with a bit of brightness to it, and a lasting finish.
Christmas Eve and Christmas Day might just bring some “unique” bottles to pair with traditional Italian Christmas dinners and I look forward to trying some new wines and sharing my observations!