Holiday Wines

In these days of high unemployment and global financial crisis, it’s nice to relax with a bottle of wine that doesn’t break your pocketbook. I’m here to sort out the memorable from the truly awful. Today I’m talking about Holiday Wines – those wines I reach for when creating a memorable meal, and under $25.

Kendall Jackson Vintner’s Reserve Pinot Noir 2010 Alcohol 13.5% by Volume; $16.99 on sale at Vons

On the Label: “Vineyard selection makes a difference. Our Jackson Estates Grown Pinot Noir delivers black cherry and raspberry fruit with velvet tannins found in our hillside grapes that intertwine with plum and spice from our benchland vineyards.  The wine was aged in French and American oak barrels that impart a hint of vanilla and cedar aromas.”

My Take: Funny, but as I’m writing this my hubby said to me, didn’t you already review that one? Yeah, well maybe! I suppose I need to keep an index of the wines I’ve reviewed. Hrm. At any rate, this wine paired beautifully with a big bowl of Cassoulet (the New Year’s Eve dish of choice). The depth of the wine dealt with the spice of the meats, and all around it was a wonderful pairing. Of course, in my book it’s hard to go wrong with Pinot Noir!

My Rating: ~ Very, Very Drinkable ~ and not a bad price, considering.

Stag’s Leap 2011 Napa Valley Chardonnay Alcohol 14.1% by Volume; $22.99 at Vons

On the Label: “At Stag’s Leap Winery, we appreciate wines that enhance conversation and artisanal foods. This Chardonnay is a story of balance, a delicious intersection of richness and minerality that benefits from the classical standard of viticulture, care of the land, and winemaking that is as relevant today as it was in 1893 when the winery was established.”

My Take: It was Christmas Eve, and I wanted a special wine to go with a simple dinner. I was making home made pasta and a rich garlic cream sauce, with broccoli alongside. So I splurged on this wine, as usually Stag’s Leap is out of my budget. (But it’s Christmas, Mr. Scrooge!)

I really, really liked this wine. It cut through the richness of the creamy sauce, enhanced the flavor of the broccoli, and rounded out the meal beautifully.  Truly a delight to be shared on special occasions.

My Rating: ~ Stay away! This is MY wine, you Slut! Another white to add to the Slut Status! Woo!

 Thanks for dropping by, please know that I LOVE having you here. As is usual, the ratings of these wines are my opinion only and can be affected by the weather and the late night news. Your taste buds will differ.

~ Until the next time, cheers – and remember to drink responsibly! ~

Demon Soul, Blood Dreams and Demon Hunt are all available for the Kindle! Have you fallen into the Caine Brothers’ world yet?

My Rating System: Undrinkable, Barely Drinkable, Drinkable, Very Drinkable, and the ever popular Stay away! This is MY wine, you slut!

I LOVE hearing from you, so please leave a comment, okay?

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10 Responses to Holiday Wines

  1. Sarah says:

    I am so glad I found your blog! Books led me here, but your wine help couldn’t have come at a better time! I know very little about wine! Not sure how that happened. I come from a long line of Catholics! Mom did marry a Baptist though…. My mom’s side of the family does worship Two-Buck Chuck though too….I digress.

    • Christine says:

      LOL Sarah – welcome! I have been known to quaff Two-Buck Chuck (made by the Franzia family, btw). When the money is tight but wine is called for, sometimes the Chuck fits the bill.

      Welcome! And tell your friends, lol!

  2. KatieO says:

    Great post and I’ll have to try both of those! My mom’s go-to wine is KJ’s Chardonnay but I’ve never tried the Pinot Noir. Will have to remedy that immediately.

    (And LOVE LOVE your rating system, btw!)

    • Christine says:

      Thanks, Katie! I love almost all of KJ wines – but the Vintner’s Reserve wines are just a bit better than their other wines. Let me know what you think of the Pinot Noir!

  3. MonaKarel says:

    My Christmas wines went to the cheap side this year, but I did pick up some more of that dry white. These look extra yummm, I might cut something else from the budget to try them. Hmmm, but what? Not books, that’s for sure!

    • Christine says:

      Keep looking for sales, Mona. You never know when a real good bottle will come up on a BevMo! 5 cent sale, or some such. Then it’s totally worth it!

  4. wendysrusso says:

    My wines this Christmas were a Pinot Grigio, a Chardonnay, neither of which winery I can remember, and Takara, a plum wine from Japan.

  5. Sam Beck says:

    Okay, so I can justify the cost of the Stag’s Leap Chard by noting that it will help me eat my broccoli, (and it’s less ‘spendy than the Stag’s Leap reds, which are strictly gift territory)!

    • Christine says:

      I hear you, Sam! I haven’t been able to splurge on a Stag’s Leap red. Maybe I’ll get amazing news one of these days and can justify the purchase…you never know! Cheers hon!

  6. Thanks for the recommendations, Christine. I love a good Pinot Noir, my recent find was a Ballard Road 2011 (Oregon) bottle. I don’t know the price, though, since it arrived in my Laithwaite Wine Club case. I liked it almost as much as Argentinian Malbecs.

    Enjoy your weekend. 🙂

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