I held off from updating this forum for a good long while. Why? Lots of reasons. Busy with work, busy being lost in the grey of New York City. Perhaps I was readying myself for the long winter to come. Perhaps I was trying, as so many people do, to plan for ways to combat the icy dreariness of winter. As it turns out, feasting is often the best way to survive the cold months. In fact, this Wednesday I plan to get together with a group of friends and do just that: deny the loneliness of the coming winter. So we gather, and we praise the cleverness of cooking. We sit at the apex, the very culmination of our civilized state: cooking is now a celebrity act, and cooks are our demigods in media and in fact. Decadence, decadence: who’s to say what’s wrong or right about it? Bring it on, I say. Bring it on, and bring friends. And bring the following wines:
Prosecco Brut, Scu Dò, NV – There’s a reason everyone loves this bubbly. Light, dry and pale gold in the glass, this fizzing crowd-pleaser reveals citrus and baked bread aromas on the nose, with a nice mousse. Approachable, good for raising high in a toast. Perfect as an aperitif. $9.
2008 Dr. Konstantin Frank Dry Riesling – this wine will redefine what New York State wines can do. Beautiful. Dry, with a pronounced mineral element, this wine has definite notes of peach, mango, and apple blossoms on the nose. The mouthfeel is a nice balance of steely acidity and a touch of residual sugar, with more fruity notes of pineapple and citrus leading to a medium finish. Be ready. $15.
2009 Chateau Ste. Michelle Dry Riesling – Why not go for Washington State, with its surprisingly good white wines on top of their internationally renowned wines made from Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon? This showing has a nose dominated by peach and apricot notes, as well as some interesting floral notes and lime zest. Great balance here, with the 13% ABV offset by the fruit itself. A soft-yet-strident mouthfeel shows more beautiful fruit, with a long quenching finish. $11.
2008 Silver Thread Gewürztraminer – Another New York wine for the table! This is one of the most unusual and excellent wines I’ve had from the Finger Lakes. Rich, almost unctuous fruit with breathy aromas of lychee fruit, rose petals, and peach drizzled in honey. At first I thought this wine was sweet, but it proved bone-dry on the palate. Exceptional with white meats and lightly spicy dishes (have you ever made curry with your leftover turkey?). $18.
2009 Four Vines “Naked Vines” Chardonnay – From Santa Barbara County in CA, this wine has the acidity that makes it a perfect companion for food. Beautifully aromatic nose of lemon and lime zest, as well as other white seed fruit and floral notes, almost like Sauvignon Blanc in its strident (but not biting) acidity. Reveals a nice silky texture on the palate, with mineral notes and more tropical fruit leading to a medium finish. $14.
2009 P’tit Rouquin “Les Vins Contés” VdT, O. Lemasson – A delightful wine made from the Gamay grape, showing vibrant cherry red in the glass. The nose bounces fresh raspberry fruit, with some slight earthy notes. Great quenching acidity in the mouth, with more red fruit and some minerality leading to a nice bright finish. $15.
2006 Côte de Brouilly, Christophe Pacalet – Pacalet is a star in the world of Beaujolais; his wines are renowned for their finesse and purity of character. Bring some finesse to the feast with this aged Côte de Brouilly, a fine Cru wine with exceptionally concentrated cherry and raspberry fruit, followed by hints of savory hung meat balanced to perfect acidity. Awesome with the turkey. $17.
2007 Heitz Grignolino – Oh snap! That’s right, I propose you foist a wine from the Napa Valley on your family this Thanksgiving. But this is no ordinary Cabernet fruit bomb. This is that finest of all things, a beautiful and honest rendition of an obscure Italian varietal produced by one of California’s premiere producers. Pale coppery red in the glass, with an explosion of aromatics when poured: raspberries, strawberries, orange peel, and violets. Nice balance and good poise; silk-like texture. Long finish, strong on fruit but with hints of earth. $19.