With visions of red dancing in my head… (thanks Rick!)
And although many of our friends throughout Canada has seen snow, and sometimes lots of it..
Halifax has no snow yet.. (knock on wood)
So when I say I’m dreaming of a white wine Christmas, I’m OK with no snow for now. I’m sure I will see lots of it when I go home to Newfoundland for Christmas.
Yup, that’s me. Red or White. And although I tend to lean a little more towards the red wines, I do love white wine as well. Christmas is the perfect opportunity to enjoy both red and white with food.
Let’s start with the turkey… Last year I served a Viognier at our Christmas dinner. We had this gorgeous Viognier from Stags Leap in California. It was perfect. Turkey is a blank canvas when it comes to matching with wine. There are so many options. I am going to mix it up this year. My mom prefers Chardonnay, but here are some other options. The Alianico Vinho Verde from Portugal is one of the best values you’ll find for Christmas dinner. And it’s crisp and refreshing and will compliment that turkey in an amazing way.
Some of my other recommendations include the Robert Mondavi Fume Blanc which is a Sauvignon Blanc based wine, mostly Sauvignon Blanc with some Semillion mixed in for that smoothness. And another beauty I tried this year was the Pinot Gris from Ara. Sandhill Vineyards from British Columbia also makes a spectacular Pinot Gris. If you’re a red wine only drinker, pick a Pinot Noir. Related to Pinot Gris, Pinot Noir is one of my favorites because its full of complex flavors.
Growing up in our house, on Christmas Eve we had ham. And then we had the leftovers for breakfast the next morning on Christmas Day. My older sister still carries on this tradition, but my younger sister has opted for the Chinese Food on Christmas Eve, and that’s where I’ll be this year. I miss this tradition, ham on Christmas morning was one of my favorite parts of the day.
If ham is your Christmas Eve or Christmas Day tradition, now is the time to try a Merlot. It’s all about the Merlot when it comes to smoked baked ham. For me anyway. Here are some of my favorites from this past year. From left to right, is Candor Merlot, then the Hillcott Merlot from Grant Burge and then the Merlot from Bogle Vineyards in California. All three are in that $20 – $25 price range, and the perfect Christmas wine. Why? Christmas has sugar plums, all 3 of these Merlot wines have rich juicy plum flavors, a bit of oak and lots of lasting flavor. Try a Merlot today. If you want to try something different with the ham, try a Zinfandel.
The Predator is one of my favorites. And an old vine Zinfandel just means a more intense flavor. The vines are older and the grapes are sweeter. Don’t be confused, this is not a sweet wine. My friend Sue said she always though Zinfandel was pink and bubby. The Zinfandels I love are full bodied and full of flavor. If I were to open a white wine with the ham, it would be a Chardonnay. And because my mom loves Chardonnay so much, believe me, I have tried a lot of Chardonnay wines. The J. Lohr Chardonnay from California is delicious and it won’t break the bank.
However, if you’re like me and you’re all about the treat wine at Christmas, and it’s the one day of the year you treat yourself to a really nice bottle, here are a couple of my favorite options. The Pierre Andre Mersault I wrote about last weekend knocked my socks off, it was so delicious. French wine can be intimidating for some, and this is 100% Chardonnay and worth every penny. The next one is the Le Clos Jordanne Grand Clos Chardonnay. Made by winemaker Sebastion Jacquey, this darling Chardonnay is from right here in Canada.
And what’s Christmas dinner without dessert. I said to my friends at the NLSC on Larry Uteck last night, don’t let me go to Newfoundland without my dessert wine for Christmas dinner. I’m not a chocolate fiend, I’m not that big on desserts, but I will finish my meal with something sweet, and here it is. The Borealis Ice Wine from Benjamin Bridge. It’s rich and opulent with flavors of carmelized apples. My mouth is already starting to water. And, Rick Martell, the Manager of the NSLC on Larry Uteck introduced me to a new yummy liquor yesterday. The Criollo is made with the Criollo cocoa bean which gives it a yummy chocolate flavor enhanced with sea salted caramel. Oh my God, can you say ‘hello Christmas’. At $16.99 a bottle, you won’t mind sharing with your friends.
Well that it’s for me this week…
Till next week, Cheers