Holiday Wine Selections – Nov-Dec, 2021
It seems amazing that it is Thanksgiving week, already. And Christmas and the New Year are just a few weeks away. Where has this year gone? We’ve had opportunities to enjoy and share a lot of good wines and good times in 2021, and now it’s time to consider wines that will accompany those special dinners and fun gatherings with family and friends. Here are some suggestions from the Texas Wine Collective portfolio that should brighten and enhance your holidays.
Two delicious white wines produced from classic Rhône varieties were recently released at TWC. McPherson Cellars Roussanne Reserve 2020 Texas High Plains was aged in oak barrels for 3 months and bottled at 13.5% ABV. It shows peach and distinct tea-like aromas, a full-bodied mouthfeel, a subtle lemon drop candy flavor, and a delicate touch of oaky creaminess on the finish. It will pair well with turkey, pork, seafood, and most side dishes that grace the holiday table.
Lost Oak Winery Reserve Viognier 2019 Texas were treated to a much longer 18-month visit in French oak barrels, and thus shows more of the creamy, vanilla character associated with oak aging. It has a bright, golden hue, subtle aromas of honeysuckle blossom, clover honey, and baked golden apple with a hint of citrus. Flavors of ripe peach and nectarine with toasted coconut and vanilla follow, with a creamy, velvety mouthfeel. The long, rich finish offers hints of spiced pear, honey, clove, nutmeg, and vanilla. This will be a wonderful pairing with charcuterie platters, smoked or fried turkey, honey-glazed ham, pasta dishes or salads, and those traditional vegetable dishes - grilled Brussel sprouts with cheese sauce and green bean casserole. Yummy!
For those who prefer sturdier fare, three delicious red wines from TWC should meet the challenge. Brennan Vineyards Super Nero 2018 Texas is a deeply colored and flavored blend of Nero d’Avola 28%, Syrah 34%, and Montepulciano 38%. The cuvées were fermented separately, aged 12-16 months in American and French oak barrels, blended and bottled at 14.1% ABV. The wine has a deep garnet color with aromas of cherries, suede leather, fine pipe tobacco, cedar, and cinnamon with hints of violets & black peppercorns. The flavors of ripe, cooked blackberries, brioche, and hazelnuts will enhance most roasted poultry or pork, but will be especially good if beef, wild game, or Texas BBQ is on your menu.
Lost Oak Winery Holiday Red 2019 Texas is a traditional favorite from TWC. This deeply colored, rich blend of Merlot and Ruby Cabernet weighs in at 14.3% ABV and delights the senses with aromas of fresh berries and notes of vanilla and sweet tobacco. The wine is full-bodied with waves of fruit over the palate and has smooth tannins on a silky finish that offers just a hint of sweetness. This versatile blend is made to complement a wide range of traditional holiday fare – turkey or ham for Thanksgiving, tamales for Christmas Eve, and all your favorite side dishes, even desserts.
McPherson Cellars Sangiovese 2019 Texas High Plains [CH1] is a lighter red option that can delight those who might prefer something like pinot noir or Gamay Beaujolais at the table. The wine was aged 13 months in French oak barrels (20% new) and bottled at 13.7% ABV. Sangiovese is the key grape from Tuscany, Italy, and the primary grape in Chianti. From Texas High Plains fruit this bottling offers aromas & flavors of red licorice, black cherry cola, white pepper, and baking spices. Aging in French oak adds a smoky vanilla nuance to this lovely, medium-bodied red with velvety tannins on the finish. This is simply a terrific food wine.
Sweet dessert wines are often popular during the holidays. Three lovely options from TWC are available. Lost Oak Winery Holiday White 2018 Texas High Plains is an amazingly rich wine produced from over-ripe Roussanne grapes that carried a load of sugar. Fermentation was stopped at 17.1% ABV and 6.5% residual sugar to produce a sweet dessert wine with a deep honey color, aromas of baking spices, pear cider, and notes of clove and ginger. On the palate are flavors of Meyer lemon and caramel apple that drift into a spicy finish hosting a touch of cinnamon. Pair this with most of your holiday desserts or warm it up with spices and a splash of apple cider to make a delicious mulled wine.
McPherson Cellars Fleur D’Oranger 2017 TX High Plains from Orange Muscat grapes is actually a white port produced by the traditional port wine method. The grapes were late harvested, fermented for a short time, and then neutral grape spirits were added to arrest further fermentation. The wine was bottled at 17.4% ABV and 15% residual sugar (very sweet dessert wine, WOW!) and aged in the bottle 24 months before release. The honeyed sweetness with spicy apricot and orange marmalade flavors can pair beautifully with most holiday cookies, apple or peach pie, and cheesecake. Or, this is so rich it can be a liquid dessert on its own.
Brennan Vineyards Sweet Arrowred 2017 Texas will fill the bill if something RED and sweet is desired. This soft and sweet blend of Muscat of Alexandria and Montepulciano has been bottled a bit lighter at 12.6% ABV and 4% residual sugar. Vibrant crimson in color with aromas and flavors of sweet cherries and raspberries, this very fruit-forward wine is fantastic with cherry pie, plum tart, most chocolate desserts, and goes great with Mexican tamales and Texas BBQ. It will also make a wonderful base for holiday Sangria or mulled wine blends.
Enjoy your holidays and share fun, fellowship, lots of great food, and plenty of Texas wine with friends and family. Be safe in your travels, and Bon Appetit!