As fast as Santa can circumvent the globe dropping off his packages to be opened wide-eyed children Christmas morning, the year 2022 has gone by and now we have found ourselves at the holidays, yet again. If anything was learned, especially over the past couple of years, it is that time together, with family and friends alike, is precious and truly the best of gifts.
The team at City Vino wishes everyone an incredibly happy holiday season, and hopes that you get to rock around the Christmas table with a bounty of food and wine. The following wines are ones we hope you will consider sharing with your friends and family during those rocking festivities.
Many of the holiday’s decorations include stars in reference to the star in the east that guided the three wise men. Along with the stars, our trees, houses, and lawns are decorated with flashing lights, all aglitter. The infamous Dom Perignon once stated, “Come quickly, I am tasting the stars!” as he sampled sparkling wine. It is fitting to serve this style of wine as it is always festive, celebratory, and a welcome beverage to serve, whether as an aperitif, or for a heartfelt holiday toast.
Our starry holiday sparkling wine for this week’s tasting is the illii Prosecco Extra Dry from the Veneto in Italy and is made from 85 percent Glera and 15 percent Chardonnay. We suggest pairing this lovely bubbly filled with aromas and flavors of apples, pear, citrus, wisteria blossoms, and acacia flowers with a rousing singalong of “Santa Claus Is Coming To Town.” When Santa comes, the party gets rocking.
The first red comes from the Loire region in France where Cabernet Franc is king. Our selection is Domaine de la Chevalerie "Les Galichets" Bourgueil. Les Galichets is the vineyard and Bourgueil is the appellation which sits adjacent to the appellation of St-Nicolas-de-Bourgueil. The Caslot family have been harvesting from their land since 1640. The domaine has been passed down from generation to generation and currently the siblings Emmanuel and Stéphanie are in charge. With their father, they were able to go transition to 100 percent organic and biodynamic farming of all their vineyards and to get certified, as such.This Domaine de la Chevalerie wine comes from old vines, 60 years of age or older. The wine is aged in large old barrels and bottled after six months, and is neither fined nor filtered. The wine has predominant notes of strawberry, cherry, violets, and earth. Continuing with our rocking theme, this wine could be imbibed while being accompanied by The Beach Boy’s “Little Saint Nick” (it was a stretch but St-Nicolas-de-Bourgueil is right next door), or perhaps the King & Country’s upbeat version of “O Come, O Come Emmanuel” in honor of the namesake.
Next in our line up is a lovely red Chianti Classico and is the 2019 Barone Ricasoli Brolio Reserva, also from Italy. This is a blend of 80 percent Sangiovese, 15 percent Merlot, and 5 percent Cabernet Sauvignon. While this wine has aromas of irises, violets, oak, red cherries, vanilla, and herbs, on the palate there are classic (or is it Classico?) Christmas scents of cranberry, sour cherry, evergreen, and baking spices that emerge, making it perfect for the merry occasion. With the hint of evergreen in your glass, lets pair this wine with the holiday classic(o) Brenda Lee’s “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree.”
We now take you to Argentina. Can you talk about that World Cup final game last Sunday? Whoa, what a match! I do not recall ever seeing anything so exciting, sitting on the edge of your seat, lip biting, and emotional. Now, onto the wine, which is the 2014 Marcelo Pelleriti Felipe Staiti Vertigo. This wine is a blend of 70 percent Malbec, 20 percent Syrah, 10 percent Cabernet Franc. The wine is a rich, violet-blue color, with dark berries and dark chocolate notes on the palate.
The Vertigo earned 94 points from James Suckling who noted that “the palate is creamy and sleek, more Journey than Motorhead.” Neither Journey nor Motorhead is on our rocking Christmas playlist, so let us play off the chocolate notes in this wine and rock with either Hot Chocolate’s “Brand New Christmas,” or “Chocolate Christmas” by Trout Fishing in America. Boom, choc-a-latta!
Our final rocking around the Christmas table wine is the 2018 Talamonti Tre Saggi Montepulciano d'Abruzzo. Tre Saggi translates to “The Three Wise Men,” and is fitting for your Christmas table. The inspiration for the wine’s name comes from the fresco painting in the Church of Santa Maria in nearby Piano. This wine is made from 100 percent Montepulciano, and has wild berry, coffee, and hazelnut notes, along with warm baking spices that come from its aging in oak barrels.
The obvious pairing for the Tre Saggi is the Christmas classic “We Three Kings.” For our rocking Christmas table, I send you to Youtube to the version performed by Alexander Jean, featuring Casey Abrams.
City Vino wishes you a rocking time around your Christmas table with food and wine. Cheers!