Special Affordable Wines For Your Christmas Dinner This Week on the WineGuyMike™ Radio Show©


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Liquid Planet “Best of Beverage” and a great place to find your holiday wine located in the heart of downtown Missoula.

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Merry Christmas and welcome to the WineGuyMike™ Radio Show© this Sunday morning.  Today I have chosen a number of wines that are affordable, most are $10.00 to $16.00.  These selections are very good wines that will pair well and enhance the meal you will be serving at your Christmas dinner. 

A couple of the wines I share with you today are made from the Chenin Blanc grape varietal, this wine is seeing a slight trend.  French winemakers are masters when it comes to producing beautiful wine with the Chenin Blanc grape.  In France this wine is known as Vouvray and the two Chenin Blanc wines I’m recommending today will pair beautifully with the ham and turkey dinners you may be preparing for your family and friends today.

First a little background on Chenin Blanc and Vouvray:

What is Vouvray? Vouvray (voo vray) is a town located near the city of Tours in one of the most recognized wine growing areas of France, the Loire Valley.  This specific area we are discussing, Vouvray, is located in the central Loire Valley.

A snapshot of the Loire Valley:

The Loire Valley runs across the Northwest region of France following the Loire River from Central France in the east to the Atlantic Ocean in the west.  This northern region of France is cool and produces lighter bodied wines.

  *Wine in this region will be chosen by a style and best years*

Vouvray is produced in three different styles; dry (Sec), medium-dry (Demi-Sec), sweet (Moelleux, m wah leuh), or as a sparkling wine.

Chenin Blanc is a very versatile grape that is produced as a standalone varietal or as a blending grape, typically with Chardonnay.  It is dry, very crisp, acidic, high in alcohol content, yet is smooth and full bodied. Nuances of slight spiciness, hints of honey, slight fruitiness.  This can be a very special wine, such as Vouvray, an excellent wine exhibiting many different styles.  It is known as the “chameleon”.

The Marc Bredif Vouvray I have recommended is dry yet sophisticated while the Tariquet Chenin Chardonnay is crisp yet creamy from the Chardonnay blend.  These two wines are a true companions for your Christmas dinner.

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.  NBC Montana Today TV Segment with Christmas wines; http://www.nbcmontana.com/video/30063511/index.html

Saracco Moscato D´ Asti ($15.00’ish)

Wine with the perfume of fresh peach, pear and aromatic white flowers.  A gentle sparkle brightens the fruit and a tingle of sweetness hints of candied fruits.  This wine is perfect as refreshing aperitif or a light finish to a meal.  Saracco has perfected the balance of acid and residual sugar to make an incredibly light and floral sparkling wine.

Gruet Rose Brut ($10.59)

The Gruet can be enjoyed before and during dinner.  Rose is a diverse wine that pairs well with most foods so don’t be afarid to enjoy this selection during your dinner.  This is a delightful wine that really delivers.

This nearly garnet Rose, like all of Gruet’s non-vintage sparkling wines, it is aged 24 months en tirage.  It has a lovely, bright floral bouquet with hints of strawberry, raspberry, and cherry.  On the palate, it is rich and fruity in a dry, Brut style.  The flavor of berries continues on the palate, revealing more strawberry, raspberry, cherry.  This sparkler is lots of fun and very festive.

A-Z Pinot Gris ($10.49)

The Willamette Valley produces very good wine and this selection from A-Z will not disappoint.  I recommend this wine with Vegetarian dishes, Turkey or Ham dinners.  You’ll love this wine it is with your dinner.

The 2010 A to Z Pinot Gris leads with bright aromas of tropical fruits (lemon, lime, lychee, mango, passion fruit and kiwi) as well as melon, ginger, lemongrass and wet stone.  Succulent and juicy on the attack, the mid-palate is drenched with peach, spiced pear, baked apple, quince, hibiscus, white flower and mineral flavors.  On the finish, the acidity wraps up the wine with a clean, fresh palate and lasting impression of a wine with great purity and typicity balanced by some richness and depth.

Anselmi San Vincenzo ($12.25)

Turkey, Ham, or a Pork Roast is my recommendation for this lush and sophisticated wine.  This wine paired with a glazed pork tenderloin roast would be incredible for your Christmas dinner.

80% Garganega, 10% Chardonnay, 10% Sauvignon Blanc

Color – Light straw

Bouquet – Crisp and pure, with scents of minerals, lemon/lime, apricot and yellow apples.

Taste – Medium-bodied, dry and fresh, with notes of citrus fruit

Marc Bredif Vouvray 2008 from the Loire Valley, France ($21.99)

Chenin Blanc at its finest with this dry Vouvray.  Vouvray can be made in a dry to sweet style and the French do it best.  This holiday wine selection I have chosen for you is more expensive than most Vouvray’s, but when you take one sip you will understand why.  This selection will go well Vegetarian dishes, white meats, Ham, and most seafood dishes.

The color is pale gold yellow.  It has a very intense and fruity nose with notes of white flowers and quince.  It has a subtle attack on the palette and a fresh structure and aromatic finish.

Tariquet Chenin Chardonnay, a unique recipe 75% Chenin 25% Chardonnay ($9.99)

Turkey, Ham or even just a wonderful wine to drink.  This wine from the Southwestern Languedoc Rousillon region is a lovely wine and at this price you can’t go wrong.  It’s crisp, it’s creamy, yes a treasure of a wine.

The contrast between the Chenin’s minerality and the creamy Chardonnay is somewhat reminiscent of sweet and sour cooking.  Fresh, bold and full of flavour at entry with underlying notes of ripe grapes, followed by suave complexity.  Faintly floral shades of vanilla vie for position with lingering traces of toffee, while a touch of saltiness leads to a pleasantly surprising finish.

Wallace Brook 2009 Pinot Noir ($15.99)

Good Pinot Noir is hard to find at this price point but this wine is made by one of my favorite Willamette Valley winery’s, Adelsheim Vineyard.  This wine pairs fantastic with lamb, salmon, pork, or turkey.  An excellent choice for your Christmas dinner.

This Pinot Noir offers a complex nose of red fruits and vanilla.  The supple mouth feel layers raspberry and red cherry fruit, and is complemented by balanced oak and well-integrated tannins.

Cannonau di Sardegna D.O.C. Riserva (Under $11.22)

This wine is Old World and rustic in nature.  The Cannonau is native to Sardinia and is unique in aroma and on the palate.  I don’t recommend drinking this wine without a food accompaniment.  With food this will be one of the best food wines you will ever taste.  I recommend this a prime rib, roast beef, stew, and heavy appetizers.  An amazing food wine.

Bright ruby color, with purple hues, the aromas project ripe red berry, including strawberry and raspberry jam. In the mouth, coffee, spices and herbs, including an aroma of violets, plummy fruit flavours and aristocratic oak overtone. Full, round, fruit forward, consumer friendly taste profile. Oak aged for two years in large Slavonian casks with several additional months in the bottle.

Le Clos ($11.99)

A terrific companion to accompany a duck terrine laced with olives, a roast rack of lamb, roasted beef or pork roast with fines herbes, as well as pheasant with wild mushrooms or boeuf bourguignon.

45% Merlot, 20% Carignan, 20% Grenache, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon

It is unique in that it has a slight, refined oak character, highlighting a sturdy base of red fruit and oriental spices. Bringing into play terroir and savoir-faire, tradition and exotic flair, Le Clos seems to be like something out of “The Arabian Nights.”

This wine displays an attractive raspberry red color with hints of garnet.  Its nose is lively and complex, with notes of red and black fruits.  Refined oak fragrance(very subtle) with hints of incense, spices (nutmeg, clove, ginger), anise, autumn woods and tobacco.  Le Clos is very soft on the palate, with a fresh, tangy acidity, and delivers wonderful balance.  It is well-structured yet elegant, with fine tannins.

2009 Felino Viña Cobos Malbec ($16.99)

I love to drink this wine from Paul Hobbs who makes wine in Napa and Sonoma during our summer months.  His wines fetch prices north of $100.00 in the U.S.  But in Argentina he makes wine that is sophisticated and complex yet inexpensive.  Sit down to dinner with any beef dish and you will think you are in heaven with this selection.

Visually this 2009 Malbec presents a beautiful crimson color in the glass.  The nose of this South American beauty is ripe with red raspberry, anise, with a slight nuance of cocoa, a wonderful aroma.  The palate delivers a rich spicy mouth-feel that reveals fruit, a hint of caramel and mineral.  This malbec has a nice round balance with sturdy structure.  This wine is supple, smooth with refined tannin that makes this a great wine to drink and pair with food.  A long finish from this wine that you just don’t want to end.

"from my table to yours", Merry Christmas to all

"from my table to yours", Merry Christmas to all

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