Festive Wines for the Holidays (…or a Quiet Night In)

From Sommelier Jill Mott:

These festive wines won’t break the bank but will make everything from your quiet Tuesday in to holiday gatherings MORE than merry!

RIETSCH CREMANT D’ALSACE
If you like Champagne, this bubbly is that and more without the high price tag! Rietsch is growing organic Auxerrois, Pinot Gris and Chardonnay and crafting it exactly like a Champagne with a second fermentation in bottle. Honestly, this sparkler is made with much more tirage (aging on lees) that the average Champagne – THREE YEARS ON THE LEES! hence the lovely biscuity and luxurious aromas and textures – everything you want this time of year. Rietsch also avoids adding any sulphur to this wine which is virtually unheard of in the world of sparklers making this a truly unique bottle. Perfect as an apéritif or with shellfish, oysters, bitter salads, lighter pastas and…anything celebratory. Give as a gift to someone who appreciates fine Champagne or interesting bubbles. They won’t see this one coming!
4 cases available @ Henry & Son.

MANOLIS GARALIS LIMNIO 2018
Here’s your new favorite Tuesday night red (or a perfect wine for those holiday-arriving family members that drink their weight in rich red wine)! Nope, it’s not Merlot…nor Cabernet. Pinot Noir? No.
Your weeknight or party just got much more interesting with a bottle of Limnio in your glass, one of the oldest grape varietals on record! Limnio is grown on the Greek island of Lemnos (closer to Turkey than Athens!) and Manolis Caralis is crafting the good stuff: organic grapes planted on volcanic soil (think Etna/Sicily!) and aged in GREEK OAK. Very dark, almost eggplant purple in color that matches its full-bodied profile; a soft oak nuance lingers alongside the rich, tannic edges. You’ll find this pairs well with richer winter fare and great weeknight dishes like pizza or pasta.

BROC CELLARS LA BOUTANCHE 2017
Chris Brockway was one of few who very quietly helped to start a natural wine movement in California. He’s been an indie favorite for years and has been rewarded via the cultish label La Boutanche, which is typically affixed to glou glou (chuggable* low-alcohol) wines from French producers represented by importer Selection Massale. Chris’s wines are SO GOOD, Massale requested he bottle this wine with their playful and very noticeable label (each winemaker is assigned a different anthropomorphic animal–we think Chris’s badger might be poking fun at the natural wine “scene”). This wine fits the definition of well made, natural glou glou on all sides, coming from sustainable fruit (Zinfandel + a hefty dash of Petite Sirah), fermenting via ambient yeasts and bottling with minimal sulphur. The result: a deep boysenberry hue and Zin-forward, sappy nose generous with notes of mulberries, mulled wine sans spices and ripe, fresh blueberries. The palate is dry, the Petite Sirah providing tannins that lift Zin to new heights. With a kiss of oak on the finish and you’ve got a winner!
*I do not endorse or condone chugging a whole liter of wine.

Cheers,
Jill

Originally aired on Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2019 on the Morning Show with Emily Reese.