Appetizers & Bubbly
Local Suggestion: @nichewineco
I love to start every occasion with a bit of bubbles. For me every time we gather with friends, family and colleagues away from work for a bit of laughter, joy and relaxation is an occasion. We do not cherish this time enough. I will be serving a little bit of @nichewineco ‘s beautiful bubbly. I love this winery and their family. They make small batch wines with love and you can taste it. So very delicious at an amazing price point I might add.
Value for Money : Cava, Spain
Cava is so very delicious and at these prices it makes you even happier. Cava is typically dry and is made using the traditional method (this is how Champagne is made). Cava is aged for 9 months on the lees. (This is what gives Champagne that bread/toast character). The best examples of Cava will have Reserva (15 months on the lees, the same as non-vintage Champagne) , Gran Reserva (30 months on the lees and age dated), or the rare Paraje Calificado (36 months minimum on the lees and from a special select location) on the bottle.
This is a great label to know what you are looking for when you go to the wine merchant. Cava is from Spain. Reserva has spent at least 15 months ageing on the lees. Traditional Method tells you it is made in the same way as Champagne (at a fraction of the cost). It must be called Sparkling Wine only Champagne from the same named place in France can call itself Champagne.
Codorniú is the oldest and second largest producer of Cava in Spain. Founded in 1551 close to Barcelona it is reputed to be the oldest company in Spain and one of the oldest wineries in the world. In the early 1900’s it was producing about 100,000 bottles of Cava per year. Interestingly, their winery was not located near transport (e.g. rail or road). The family believed that the winery should be located close to the vineyard and this was the magic to improving the quality of the wines.
The Main Event
Whether you serve Turkey, Ham or something else, the bunny holiday is usually not a heavy red meat event. Turkey pairs perfectly with a White or a Rosè. If you happen to have some creamy mashed potatoes the acid will cut nicely through the delicious cream. Just be sure it is not overly spiced with garlic, etc or the wine will get lost in the strong flavours.
Local Suggestion: D’Angelo’s Rose
I heart D’Angelo’s Estate Winery and their family. Meeting Sal in the tasting room is always so much fun. He planted his first acre of grapes in 1984 in Penticton. His first vintage was in 1989. Sal’s motto is “Quality is Grown” and one taste of his wines and you know how right he is. The stories of their family and the life of a winery are filled with love and pride. Rosalina is named after their Nona (Grandmother) and who better to invite to your meal?
Value for Money : Cortese
Cortese is a white grape variety from Italy. The best examples are from Gavi in the South-Eastern Piemonte. The grapes are grown at high altitudes, this combined with the sea breezes allows the lovely grape to ripen slowly. Slow ripening is good. It keeps the acidity in the grape. From Gavi they will be light-bodied, high acidity and flavours of citrus, green apples and pears (yum !). Not cloying or sweet, serve it chilled and you will be so happy you tried this delightful little grape. The price will leave you wondering why you have never met before.
The Pio Cesare estate was founded in 1881 by Cesare himself and he was the first to export. The estate is one the oldest in the region and is still run by the family. Interestingly, their cellar is located in the middle of Alba and its main walls date back to the Roman period.
Always Start With Dessert I say
Nothing is finer than dessert. I am always a bit sad if I am not planful and forget during the main event to take into account my love for the end of a meal with a bit of dessert. Sweet with sweet is the general advice.
Local Suggestion: Kalala Dessert wine
@kalalawines is an Organic winery nestled in the Upper Bench of West Kelowna. Certified organic in September 2010, Kalala’s philosophy is to allow the varietal characteristics and terroir to be truly expressed and enhanced by minimal handling during winemaking. Many wonder how Kalala Organic Estate Winery got its name. The legend comes from the owner, Karnail’s grandparents who told him the story of how the village where he was born came to be. Long ago, in Northern India, farmers working in the beautiful and distant flatlands came upon a wolf and lamb sitting peacefully together. They believed this coexistence to be so inspiring that they moved their village to this very spot, in hopes that the same harmony would be reflected in their village, and named it Kalala, meaning Miracle Place.
Their Zweigelt Icewine from @kalalawines is fall off your chair good. So good you might want to drink it on its own, no dessert needed.
Value for Money: Medium Sherry
A medium sherry typically will have both biological (this process involves the presence of flor/yeast which feeds off the oxygen and gives sherry that unique flavour) and oxidative characteristics (which is ageing with oxygen in partially filled casks). The best examples perfectly balance toffee, leather and walnut flavours with the dried fruit flavours. This type of sherry goes well with so many things. (even just in coffee if you are too full).
Look for an Amontillado from Jerez-Xeres. This is a great value find and you will find the traditional salted caramel note.
~Trina Plamondon is the founder of Carpa Vino, a local company specializing in private wine events, wine consultation & wine education. In her blog she helps others discover the magic in wines.