Happy Saturday! You made it through Halloween and are ready to change your clocks tomorrow. Last night, we lit a fire in the fireplace for the first time this season. In other words, welcome to fall!
Though it is getting chilly, crisp white wines will remain on the menu because we love them. However, enjoying selections with a bit more complexity is perfect for cooler temperatures, like Terre Brûlée Chenin Blanc from South Africa. Meaning “burned earth,” the winery is owned by Vincent and Trina Carême of Dom. Vincent Carême in the Loire Valley’s Vouvray, the classic land of Chenin Blanc. In South Africa’s Swartland region old vines of the variety thrive in mineral-intense shale soils. Old vines create wines with concentration, creating an aromatic selection filled with fresh citrus and melon notes. Clean and crisp, with floral orange blossom, crushed stone, honeydew, and candied ginger. Sip with grilled shrimp, fish, or a bowl of roasted butternut squash soup.
With a well-rounded texture, creamy complexity, and heartwarming structure, FEL Savoy Vineyard Chardonnay showcases the best of Anderson Valley with a rich, refined wine perfect for food pairings. From the “deep end” of Anderson Valley in the southern part of the region, quite near the Pacific Ocean, where the grapes grow enjoying the ocean’s cooling influence, bringing blustery breezes through the vineyards, which keep acidity high and vines healthy. Produced using a mix of barrel fermentation, aging in new and neutral oak, and sur lie (on the lees/yeast strains) in stainless steel. The rather unique combination creates a rich yet balanced wine with a creamy texture from oak and yeast influences. This is the wine you want to drink with roast chicken, butter-poached lobster, or Thanksgiving turkey, showing layers of tropical and stone fruit balanced with bright acidity.
The Sta. Rita Hills is one of California’s premier cool-climate wine-growing regions in Santa Barbara County. With good reason, Santa Barbara County was named the 2021 Wine Region of the Year by Wine Enthusiast. With close proximity to the Pacific, including some vines that lie within 10-12 miles of the ocean, Sta. Rita Hills vineyards enjoy a long, cool growing season thanks to a marine layer of fog that rolls in daily, lingering through the vines and trapping fresh acidity. From the Fiddlestix Vineyard within Sta. Rita Hills, Etude Fiddlestix Vineyard Pinot Noir, is aromatic and inviting, layering juicy red berries, red plum, and black tea with cherry cola with woody herb notes and sweet baking spice. Balanced, approachable, and delicious, showing the quality you can find in the region’s wines.
Approachable and affordable in the world of quality Pinot Noir, Raeburn Russian River Winery works with Mother Earth in mind, crafting sustainably made wines that are made responsibly, with hands-off winemaking practices allowing the vineyards to shine through the wine. Raeburn Pinot Noir is juicy and rich, showcasing black and blue fruit notes of blackberry, blueberry, and ripe fig, with subtle herbal notes, toasted spice, and dried leaves. With a price point of around $22, the wine is a great option for entertaining a crowd this Thanksgiving.
From third-generation Napa Valley farmer Tom Gamble of Gamble Family Vineyards, Mill Keeper Wines raises a glass to the farmers and growers of Napa Valley’s past and the pioneering spirit his ancestors had when they arrived in the region. Continuing this pioneering spirit, Mill Keeper wines are multi-vintage blends with the Mill Keeper Cabernet Sauvignon coming from vineyards throughout California, carrying a general “California AVA” designation. Easy, balanced, and fulfilling that approachable, easy-drinking style, the wine shows juicy, fruit-forward notes of red cherry, blackberry, sweet spice, and toasted oak. It is easily sipped on its own as you are preparing dinner and enjoyed throughout a meal.