Happy Christmas Eve! I hope you and yours are safe and cozy, raising a glass with the ones you love the most. And, I hope what is in that glass is delicious. This evening we are enjoying a mix of Vietnamese and Thai from two incredible spots we have found in Newport Beach. So, the flavors will be a little spicy, a little rich, and quite delicious. But, what to pair?
Rose is always a great go-to for Thai, particularly those from Provence or made in the style of Provence with Rhone varieties, or a fresh and zesty Rose produced from Pinot Noir. Miraval ($22) and Studio by Miraval ($18) are tasty options from Provence. One of the prettiest Rose wines of Pinot Noir, filled with a delicate profile of wild strawberry, tangerine, wildflowers, and a touch of minerality is from Ram’s Gate ($38).
For red, look no further than Pinot Noir. Medium-bodied, with balanced tannin and acidity, Pinot Noir is the perfect pair with many food options (probably why so many regions in the world produce it.) It is a finicky variety though, needing ideal cool-climate growing conditions and to be handled gingerly to ensure quality fruit is produced. One of the best places to find this is within the Russian River Valley. Produced from a mix of Dijon clones, Donum Estate Russian River Valley Pinot Noir ($90) reveals notes of blackberry, blueberry pie, cranberry preserves, black tea, and dried leaves, with a hint of toasted warm spice like nutmeg and clove. Rich and refined, yet also bright with a nice note of freshness keeping the wine lifted from start to finish.
If you want to travel the world in your glass instead of staying on the mainland, consider a Barbera D’Asti from the Piemonte region of Italy. Produced within the sub-region of Nizza DOCG (formerly a part of Barbera d’Asti) in the heart of what is known as “Barbera country,” Tenuta Garetto is a historic estate old vines planted between 1935 and 1950, as well as vineyards planted in the past several decades. From the younger vines, creating lively, refreshing wine, Tenuta Garetto Barbera D’Asti Rosina ($20 here) is plush and easy, showing layers of blackberry, fresh violets, woody herb, dried mushroom, and warm spice. With low tannin and an easy-going, approachable style, this Italian beauty will please a crowd.
#Cheers and Merry Christmas!