WineGuyMike™ Radio Show© with Scott and Paula on The Ranch 12/22/10


Check out the radio show on The Ranch 107.1FM or 97.9FM in The Bitterroot Valley.  How about a live stream feed at www.107theranch.com.  The WineGuyMike™ Radio Show© with Scott and Paula on The Ranch airs weekly on Wednesday mornings at 8:20AM MDT.

Each week we will be giving away gift certificates from our sponsors.  If your question is selected as WineGuyMike’s™ topic of discussion you will win one of the $20.00 – $25.00 gift certificates.  Good luck and send your questions to WineGuyMike™ on his Facebook fan page.

See this week’s show on YouTube  each week on Thursday morning, the day after the show.  Our YouTube channel of course is WineGuyMike or the actual URL link: http://www.youtube.com/user/WineGuyMike?feature=mhum

Sponsors                                                                                                                     

The show is sponsored by Grizzly Liquor, “Missoula’s Best Choice”. 

Ciao Mambo, “Eat Like You Mean It”, located in Missoula on The Hip Strip.  Find them online at www.CiaoMambo.com

This week’s winners are; Beth Hammock and Alan Aavedal

This week WineGuyMike™ received a number of great food and wine questions.   I would like to thank my fans,  please keep your questions coming.  As you may know if I select your question as a topic for the radio show you win a gift certificate from the show sponsors.  Remember all questions are good questions and thanks for asking.

Q. Beth Hammock asks; I’m looking for ideas on wine for my traditional Christmas Eve dinner, which is beef burgundy, and my Christmas turkey dinner. Help me out, please, Mike.

I guess I also should ask what the modern version of Burgundy wine is.  I think my recipe is kind of old-fashioned and maybe some more modern wine would be even better. The only burgundy I ever find is super cheap, like cooking wine.

A. WineGuyMike™ suggests; For Christmas Eve dinner I would recommend a Pinot Noir from Adelsheim Vineyard.  I would select the Elizabeth Reserve which is a little pricier than I usually recommend but worth it.  If you would like a white wine also I would recommend a French Chablis Grand Cru or a Meursault, both made from Chardonnay grapes, but these aren’t your momma’s Chardonnays. Have a Merry Christmas Beth from WineGuyMike.

Burgundy is a catch all name for inexpensive jug wine in the U.S. Real Burgundy wine is French Pinot Noir for the most part, although Beaujolais is produced in Burgundy as well which is made from the Gamay Beaujolais grape.

Wines for Beth’s Christmas Eve dinner:

Elizabeth’s Reserve Pinot Noir 2008

Elizabeth's Reserve Pinot Noir 2008

Elizabeth's Reserve Pinot Noir 2008

Composition: 100% Pinot noir
Alcohol: 13.5% by vol
pH: 3.54
Production: 3,084 6-bottle cases (750 ml)

Cellaring:                                        
Under optimum cellar conditions, this wine will certainly improve through 2020, perhaps through 2028.

“This complex and intriguing wine offers layered aromas of red and black raspberries,
fresh Oregon strawberries, brown spice and cedar. Its aromas are reflected on a palate
that speaks of purity and elegance, and is exceptionally balanced with firm tannins and
a persistent finish. This wine will pair beautifully with the Pinot noir classics – lamb, duck,
grilled salmon, and aged cheeses.”
Dave Paige, Winemaker

Chablis Grand Cru This is a white wine from Burgundy made from 100% Chardonnay grapes. This is a very refined wine that comes from the very best parcels of land in the area.  There are only seven vineyards allowed the Grand Cru designation.

Meursault This is a white wine from a region in Burgundy known as Cote De Beaune (coat duh Bone), located in the southern portion of Cote d’Or (coat DOOR).  The Coat d’Or is as an area in Burgundy that produces some of the finest wines in the world.  This wine is also made from 100% Chardonnay grapes and there are three different qualities of this wine, Villages, Premier Cru, and the Grand Cru. What differentiates one from another is the quality of the soil and the winemaking process with Grand Cru being the very best.

 WineGuyMike™ really prefers to keep things as simple as possible and in doing so let’s consider a few things before I recommend which wine types are best suited for your particular Christmas Day wine selections.

When one considers wine and food I like to think of balance.  Balancing wine and food is a good place to start when determining what wine works best with what food.  Here are a few other things to think about when choosing a wine too:

  • What wine do you like?
  • Food Texture, Heavy or Light?
  • How is the food prepared, Grilled, Baked, Sautéed, or in the case of Thanksgiving dinner roasted?
  • What about a Sauce, Gravy, Crème, Tomato.

In considering balance and in this case I’m referring to weight and texture of the main food entrée and the weight and texture of the wine you would choose to serve with your dinner.  How you are going to cook the Turkey, and today we will of course be using roasting a Turkey as an example.  You may also be using a sauce or gravy to garnish your entrée with.  There a couple of more things to think about before we go wine shopping too.

Just as foods have a texture and firmness wines also have a quality of texture.  Remember we are looking for balance and a synergy between wine and the foods they are paired with.  A full bodied wine bold on texture should not be paired with delicate dishes nor should they be paired with a food dish that is big on flavor.  Big wine and big flavor just don’t work well together, we are looking for harmony.  A mild food dish would do well to be paired with a medium to light body wine which is what we are doing today in considering your Christmas Day wine list.

Today I’m going to be recommending wines that pair well with your main entrée, which are Turkey and gravy.  So in contemplating these suggestions I will consider the fact that acid brings out flavors in food and helps to leave a lingering flavor on your palette.  I will also consider the fact that Turkey is mild and relatively light to medium textured and in doing so I will be suggesting wines with a bit of acidity and will be light to medium bodied.  Now we can talk about our wine type choices, or at least what types of wines match our criteria for the meal we are serving.

The wine types that I recommend will vary from light to full body:

Light Bodied Wine selections

  1. Chenin Blanc
  2. Viognier
  3. Beaujolais
  4. Pinot Grigio/Gris
  5. Pinot Noir

Medium Bodied Wine selections

  1. Fume´ Blanc
  2. Sauvignon Blanc
  3. Sancerre

Full Bodied Wine selections

  1. Chardonnay

These are the wine types I believe are best suited for your Christmas Day dinner.  I would recommend having one white and one red wine from the light bodied category, one wine from the medium bodied category, and one full bodied Chardonnay that is not oaked to complement your dinner.

Caitlin’s Reserve Chardonnay 2008

Caitlin’s Reserve Chardonnay 2008

Caitlin’s Reserve Chardonnay 2008

Wine Enthusiast: 91 points, June 2010
Wine Spectator: 91 points, Mar. 2010

Composition: 100% Chardonnay
Production: 304 cases (750 ml)
Alcohol: 13.8% by vol
pH: 3.18

“This bottling shows artful layers of figs, Asian pears, apricots, apples, nutmeats and minerals.  Beautifully balanced by the acidity found in our Northern wine region, it features a long, polished finish.  Pair it with poached salmon, lobster, smoked meats and cheeses.”
Dave Paige, Winemaker

Elizabeth’s Reserve Pinot Noir 2008

Elizabeth's Reserve Pinot Noir 2008

Elizabeth's Reserve Pinot Noir 2008

 Composition: 100% Pinot Noir
Alcohol: 13.5% by vol
pH: 3.54
Production: 3,084 6-bottle cases (750 ml)

Cellaring:                                        
Under optimum cellar conditions, this wine will certainly improve through 2020, perhaps through 2028.

“This complex and intriguing wine offers layered aromas of red and black raspberries, fresh Oregon strawberries, brown spice and cedar. Its aromas are reflected on a palate that speaks of purity and elegance, and is exceptionally balanced with firm tannins and a persistent finish.  This wine will pair beautifully with the Pinot noir classics – lamb, duck, grilled salmon, and aged cheeses.”
Dave Paige, Winemaker

2009 Pinot Gris, Willamette Valley

2009 PinotGris Willamette Valley

2009 PinotGris Willamette Valley

Technical Information
Alc: 13.8% by vol
pH: 3.11
Production: 11,052 cases (750 ml)
850 cases (375 ml)

“Crisp, bright flavors have always been the hallmark of Adelsheim Pinot gris. In this 2009, you’ll find hints of papaya, apples and pears.  It pulls off the difficult feat of providing a gentle creaminess that lends a rich, mouthfilling texture and long finish, yet still impressing as a wine that’s crisp and clean.  Try it with mildly spicy foods (such as ceviche),
not so mildly spicy Thai cuisine, rich fish entrees, and even classic oven-roasted fowl.”
Dave Paige, Winemaker

2008 Chardonnay, Willamette Valley

2008 Chardonnay, Willamette Valley

2008 Chardonnay, Willamette Valley

Gentle, whole-cluster pressing was used to separate the juice from the skins as quickly and as cleanly as possible for this Chardonnay.  The majority (85%) of the juice was fermented in stainless steel tanks to retain fruit purity, flavor and aroma, we’ve found we can produce excitingly rich Chardonnay with very minimal influence from oak.  The remaining juice was fermented in neutral barrels to augment textural richness and create a more balanced and complex wine.  In order to preserve freshness and acidity, this wine did not undergo malolactic fermentation.

2008 Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

2008 Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

2008 Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

Wine Spectator:
90 points, March 2010

Composition: 100% Pinot Noir
Alcohol: 13.3% by vol
pH: 3.56
Production: 10,212 cases (750 ml)
1,000 cases (375 ml)
186 bottles (1.5 L)

Cellaring: Under optimum cellar conditions, this wine will certainly improve through 2018, and perhaps through 2028.

“With its broad array of origins and clones, this wine displays both red and black fruit aromas (cherries and raspberries), on the nose and the palate. In addition, one finds a light touch of brown spices (nutmeg, cinnamon, allspice).  True to our house style, it is elegantly textured with satiny, polished tannins showing in the finish.  Pair it with salmon or ahi, veal or
pork, poultry (think duck) or beef, or hearty vegetarian entrees.”
Dave Paige, Winemaker

Auxerrois Willamette Valley 2009

Auxerrois Willamette Valley 2009

Auxerrois Willamette Valley 2009

 WINE BACKGROUND

When two clones of Auxerrois (oak-sair-wah) were brought into Oregon from Alsace in 1977, we knew next to nothing about the variety.  Still, after tasting some test wines made at Oregon State University, our interest was piqued.

 DNA testing has shown that Auxerrois, like Chardonnay, Aligoté, Gamay and 10 other varieties, is a cross dating from medieval times between Pinot noir and an ignoble variety called Gouais Blanc.

 Auxerrois is also the name of a duchy surrounding the town of Auxerre near Chablis, but the variety has disappeared from that area and all other parts of Burgundy.  There are probably less than 500 acres of it planted in the world.

 Its early ripening has allowed it to flourish in Luxembourg (even achieving Premier Cru status), but in Alsace, the variety is now treated as a second-class citizen, consigned to blends often with Pinot Blanc.  In the U.S., we know of only two other producers.

 The wine was then completely tank fermented at a low temperature to retain fruit purity and aromatic freshness.  Malolactic fermentation was prevented in order to preserve the wine’s varietal character.

These wines receive The WineGuyMike™ Seal of Approval©

Q. Alan Aavedal asks; what is the best wine to pair with a Christmas ham dinner? Looking for a reasonably affordable suggestion ($15-$20), will need to not be too ‘specialty’ as many will try it.

A. Alan thank you for your question. There are a number of varietals or wine types that would pair well with the Ham you’re serving for your Christmas party. Let’s take a look at the varietals I will be recommending.

Light Bodied Wines

Riesling one of the prominent white wine grapes, a pure Riesling is complex yet delicate.  Some Rieslings are just pretenders made from inferior grapes, the Grey Rieslings, and Sylvaner Rieslings.  A Riesling will be light, medium dry, fruity, a mild citrus flavor, with a mellow floral aroma.

Gewurztraminer wine is spicy, fruity, floral, and herbal. This is a dry, earthy, aromatic wine that is genuinely refreshing.

Pinot Noir is the medium bodied grape variety of red burgundian wines; it can produce wines that are incredible.  When aged in oak, it should have sweetness reminiscent of raspberries, with undertones of vegetation and chocolate.  The wine can stand up to aging for many years.  Pinot Noir at its best will be smooth, full of flavor, and a beautiful bouquet.

Gamey Beaujolais a wine from France that is made to be drunk very young, right after bottling.  This is a light bodied red that has very little tannin and is low in alcohol content.  It is a fruity red wine that has berry overtones and is light bodied.

Chenin Blanc is a very versatile grape.  It is very crisp, acidic, high in alcohol content, yet is smooth and full bodied.  This grape exhibits slight spiciness, hint of honey, and slight fruitiness and is dry.  This can be a very special wine, such as Vouvray, an excellent wine exhibiting many different styles.

Pinot Grigio or Pinot Gris as it is commonly referred to is a very dry wine.  Some characteristics of this wine are a slightly fruity and mild spiciness.

Viognier is a grape from the Rhone valley in France is also making a name for itself in California. Viognier is a very dry, delicate wine with floral aromas and apricot overtones.

Medium Bodied Wines

Sangiovese or Chianti, probably the most well known of Italian wines(at least that holds true in the United States). This grape is also the major contributor for many other fantastic Italian reds. This spicy medium bodied red also exhibits cherry and raspberry flavors.

Shiraz or Syrah is a big powerful full bodied wine, also known as Shiraz in Australia.  Supple, smooth, rich with well manered mellow tannins describes the syrah wines.  Flavor wise Syrah can be slightly spicy, fruity like black cherries, or some may have a deep nutty flavoring.

Merlot wine type or varietal is great to drink with or without food.  It tends to be soft, smooth, and very fruit forward.  Winemakers the world over are creating rich style merlots that are wines full of cherry and oak flavors.  This is a medium bodied wine.

Full Bodied Wine

Chardonnay is one of the most complex white wines, thanks to winemaking techniques, and the grapes ability to draw flavor from the nutrients and minerals in the soil.  Chardonnay is aged in new oak barrels, old oak barrels, and steel barrels, all producing varying nuances in the wines.  New barrels produce the strongest oaking, old barrels have a slight oak influence, while the steel has no oakiness.  This dry wine is rich, bold, and full of fruitiness, vanilla and a certain toastiness, just to name a few characteristics.  Complexity is the word that best suits Chardonnay.

WineGuyMike’s recommendations for your Christmas dinner:

Tariquet 2009 Chenin Blanc Chardonnay Blend

Tariquet 2009 Chenin Blanc Chardonnay Blend

  • Tariquet 2009 Chenin Blanc Chardonnay Blend – This wine marries the finesse of Chenin Blanc (75%) with the elegance and structure of Chardonnay (25%). This complex wine displays delicious floral notes, as well as exotic fruit and vanilla
Georges Duboeuf Beaujolais-Villages

Georges Duboeuf Beaujolais-Villages

  • Georges duBoeuf Beaujolais – Villages – This Beaujolais-Villages displays a deep, luminous cherry color, red with bluish tints.  The bouquet offers ripe red fruit character, suggesting strawberry and black currant, with a touch of cinnamon.  Velvet-like in the mouth, with soft tannins, it is well-balanced and complete.  A wine which lends itself to all occasions, from the apéritif to the cheese board.

These wines receive The WineGuyMike™ Seal of Approval©

I hope that you find these suggestions helpful in putting together your Christmas Day wine list.  Thinking about this ahead of time will lead to a much better wine shopping experience, not to mention the time you will save not staring at too many wine bottles on a shelf.  After a few minutes all the bottles begin to look the same.  Having a wine focused Christmas Day dinner can make it a lot of fun and remember this list of slightly acidic wines are suggested because they will intensify all the wonderful flavors of your Christmas Day dinner.  It will also be fun to share with your family and friends all about the wines you have carefully selected with the dinner to pour for them, they will surely feel as special as they are.  Let’s not forget to take a moment to think about all that we are thankful for and that includes the very special people in our lives, because how much better is a nice bottle of wine when we a sharing a glass with someone.

If you have any specific questions about wines please message me by commenting on the WineGuyMike blog at; www.wineguymike.wordpress.com, or on my Facebook fan page; WineGuyMike and I will answer any questions you may have.

One last recommendation would be to stop in at my official sponsor Ciao Mambo, they have a great wine list with wines by the glass.  You can experience some of these wine types before you serve them with your Christmas Day dinner. 

Q. April asks; I was just wondering what type of red wine would work best in a mulled spice cider.

A. April I am suggesting a few different wine types or varietals for your mulled spice cider recipe.  I have made these particular recommendations specifically because these varietals all have a bit of spice to them which I think will compliment your recipe.  These wines also will either be a little on the drier side or be a have tannin that will also blend very nicely with your recipe.  I hope you’ll be sharing a tumbler full of this cheer with me, hint hint.  Thank you Autumn for your question and happy holidays to you.

Cabernet Sauvignon This varietal is a big, powerful red wine that is full in body, rich, and very flavorful.  Cabernet Sauvignon is a wine that imparts flavors of fruits, berries, currants, and plums.  This wine may also exhibit slight spicy nuances.

Malbec One of Argentina’s finest!  This is a medium body fruit forward wine that can be described as a flamboyant red.  A spicy and tannic wine; at its best this wine can be outstanding.

Sangiovese One word Chianti, probably the most well known of Italian wines (at least that holds true in the United States). This grape is also the major contributor for many other fantastic Italian reds.  This spicy medium bodied red also exhibits cherry and raspberry flavors.

Cabernet Franc Spicier than its cousin Cabernet Sauvignon Cabernet Franc has traditionally been used as blending wine. It now is gaining popularity as its own stand alone wine type or varietal.  This is a full bodied wine.

Brown Sugar Mulled Wine Recipe

2 bottles dry red wine
Peel of 1 orange
1 cinnamon stick, broken into halves
8 whole cloves
1 whole nutmeg
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
orange slices

Pour wine in slow cooker.  Wrap orange peel, cinnamon stick halves, cloves, and nutmeg in cheesecloth. Add to slow cooker. Cover and cook on HIGH 2 to 2.5 hours.  Discard spice bag; ladle into glasses. Garnish with orange slices.

Mulled Cider with Wine Recipe

4 cups apple cider

1 (750-ml) bottle red wine

1/4 cup honey

2 cinnamon sticks

1 orange, zested and juiced

4 whole cloves

3 star anise

4 oranges, peeled, for garnish

Directions

Combine the cider, wine, honey, cinnamon sticks, zest, juice, cloves and star anise in a large saucepan, bring to a boil and simmer over low heat for 10 minutes.  Pour into mugs, add an orange peel to each and serve.

WineGuyMike’s Wine Lingo

Astringent – This refers to a drying sensation in the mouth that may make you pucker.  It is common in young full bodied red wines such as a Cabernet or a Zinfandel.  This is caused by high tannin content in the wine.  Tannin is a tactile sensation, not a taste.

Balance this term is one that would refer to a harmony of fruit, tannin, acid, and alcohol.  There may be a nuance of fruit in a wine but it would not be so overwhelming that it would be out of balance or harmony when considering the other characteristics of a wine.

Cheesemonger this term refers to someone who sells cheese, in this case a specialist or purveyor of artisanal cheeses. 

Crisp – Fresh, Bright, Young, and Slightly Acidic.  Wine Types are Sauvignon Blanc, Vermentino, and Chablis

Grassy – Refers to Herbal Characteristics often associated with Sauvignon Blanc

Meritage – pronounced just like “Heritage”, is a proprietary term used to denote red and white Bordeaux-style wines without infringing on the Bordeaux region’s legally protected designation of origin.  Winemakers must license the Meritage trademark from its owner, the California-based Meritage Alliance.  Member wineries are found principally in the United States, though increasingly elsewhere.

Oaky – A reference to a nuance in a wine resulting from wooden oak barrels that wines are aged in.  This term is common to Chardonnay’s and Cabernet wines.

Rose´ ­- “pinkish”(French).  Depending on the grapes and winemakers style the wines can be colored from vivid orange to nearly a purple hue.

Terroir is a French term for the notion that the complex combination of soil, climate, exposition and local tradition define the style of wine, a taste of the earth.

Velvety – This term characterizes a wines texture.  This term would be used with a wine that has a rich and supple mouth feel.

Wine Tasting Flight is a term used by wine tasters to describe a selection of wines, usually between three and eight glasses, presented for the purpose of sampling and comparison.

Match the words that you think make sense; these words are descriptors for wine:

Bright = Flinty an epiphany in your mouth

Rich = Subtle mellow, smooth, decadent, just easy and fulfilling

Lively = Crisp the wine is refreshing, a zing, literally comes to life in your mouth

Intense = Juicy big, bold, forward just tastes like fruit you could bite into

Velvety = Aromatic sexy, goes down like silk, fills the room with its aroma

"from my table to yours"

"from my table to yours"

I want to wish everyone a Merry Christmas, thank you for making this year the best present a person could hope for.

Buon Natale,

WineGuyMike

 

 

 

 

 

 

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