New recipes

New Wines for 2013

New Wines for 2013

From California

California is the appellation for the following two red wines. That means the grapes can come from anywhere in the state. The following two wines are truly under the radar. They are really good examples of the kind of wines that can be found if you are adventuresome and willing to try new things.

2011 Harrington Red Wine California
This is a very unusual wine produced in a very small quantity of around 50 cases. It is halfPinot Noir and the other half is comprised of equal parts Lagrein, Teroldego and Charbono. So that alone should make it a candidate for under the radar wine of the year. But, that aside, this is a really terrific wine that is a great value.

Deep in color, the wine has a lovely perfume with spicy floral berry nuances and a briary undertone with a faint smokiness. Flavorful, with lots of sweet fruit it is supple and rounded with spicy briary nuances. Balanced and full bodied with an alcohol of 14.2 percent, this is a wine that also has a nice underlying crispness. Very easy to drink, it has early appeal and is a value – Outstanding. ($19.98)

2011 Juicy Rebound Juicy Villages Red Wine California

This wine is made mostly from Mourvèdre and is blended with Syrah and Grenache. There were about 100 cases produced. The Mourvèdre was grown in the Evanghelo vineyard in Contra Costa County. The vineyard was planted in 1880 and is in sand at the intersection of the Sacramento and San Joaquin rivers. The vines are also unique for being head-pruned, non-irrigated, and on their original rootstock. The winemaker, Douglas Danielak, has worked this vineyard for many years. He has been winemaker at several wineries over the years and recently started this new brand, Juicy Villages.

The wine has a deep color and a lovely floral spice perfume with hints of smoke. It is a flavorful wine with 14.5 percent alcohol that is balanced and has lots of sweet plum and blackberry fruit showing faint tinges of spice and smokiness. Very appealing now, this is a very fine example of a California Rhone blend – Highly Recommended Plus. ($19.98)

Central Coast

This area of California spans a distance from Santa Barbara County in the South to the San Francisco Bay area in the North. It encompasses portions of 6 counties and has over 100,000 acres of vineyards. There is a large number of varietals planted, but the majority is Chardonnay.

2011 Chanin Wine Company Pinot Noir Los Alamos Santa Barbara County

This is simply a gorgeous Pinot Noir with complexity, finesse, flavor and balance. It is very pure and is a shining example of a new world Pinot Noir that beautifully expresses the varietal character of the grape while retaining its sense of place. The wine has a very nice color and a stunning perfume with floral spice tinges, cherry fruit, and a faint hint of green olive. It has loads of very pure cherry fruit with an underlying floral note and tinges of spice and green olive. With a great perfume and lots of finesse and elegance this is a Pinot Noir that is absolutely delicious – Outstanding Plus. ($50)

2009 Rangeland Red Wine The Watershed Paso Robles

The grapes for this wine come from the Adelaida Springs Ranch at the far western boundary of the Paso Robles appellation. The ranch is 12 miles from the ocean and situated at 1700 feet elevation. The watershed refers to the fact that the vineyard is planted on the watershed between the Jack Creek and Tablas Creek drainages. The 2009 vintage represents the first year for this wine, which is made from a Bordeaux style blend of 45% Cabernet Sauvignon, 31% Merlot, and 24% Cabernet Franc. This is a very claret style wine that in balanced with 14.2% alcohol. It represents the type of wine that the Underground would like to see more of from this area (To visit the website click here).
Dark in color, the wine has a deep perfume of plums and berries with floral spice nuances and a tinge of cedar. It is rounded, lush, and supple with well integrated tannins and has great berry fruit showing hints of spice, cedar, and vanilla with a faint touch of mint. This is a lovely wine that drinks beautifully now, but should keep for many years – Outstanding. ($25)

Click here to find more new wines from California, France, North Carolina, and Spain at the Underground Wine Letter.

Full Top 100 of 2013 List

This year marks the 25th anniversary of our Top 100 list, where Wine Spectator’s editors select and highlight the most exciting wines from the thousands we reviewed during the course of the year.

Back in 1988, the wine world was much smaller. We reviewed about 3,000 newly released wines in our blind tastings, and the Top 100 skewed to France, Italy and California. In 2013, our editors reviewed more than 20,000 new releases, and the Top 100 includes wines from 13 foreign countries and four states.

As always, we select the Top 100 based on quality (represented by score), value (reflected by release price), availability (based on the number of cases either made or imported into the United States) and an “X-factor” we call excitement. However, this year, we have given more emphasis than ever before to the X-factor—the intensity of interest the wines excited by way of their singularity or authenticity.

These 100 selections include more bottlings off the beaten path and represent the producers and wines our editors were particularly passionate about in 2013. Overall, the average score of the wines in this year’s Top 100 is 93 points and the average price $51—an impressive quality/price ratio.

It’s human nature to make lists, to rank our experiences by their value and interest. We hope you’ll take pleasure in reviewing our choices of the great values, emerging new wines and proven names that make up Wine Spectator’s Top 100 of 2013. Use it as a guide to the wineries, grapes and regions that should be on your radar in the coming months and years.

New York wines, lobster among items on menu for 2013 Inaugural Luncheon

Although this inauguration isn’t expected to attract the throngs of visitors as it did four years ago, Washington D.C. is still preparing for some big parties as President Barack Obama is sworn in for his second term.

One of the main events and oldest inaugural traditions is the ultimate presidential power lunch: the Inaugural Luncheon.

About 200 guests, including President Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, their families as well as cabinet members, leaders of Congress and Supreme Court justices, diplomats and others, will attend the Jan. 21 event, hosted by members of the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies. The traditional luncheon will be held at the National Statuary Hall in the Capitol Building following President Obama's swearing-in.

Sen. Chuck Schumer, chairman of the Rules Committee and responsible for overseeing the inaugural festivities, said Wednesday the “ luncheon menu incorporates foods that the first Americans enjoyed, but with a modern, forward looking approach.”

It was put together by the committee and Arlington, Va.-based catering company Design Cuisine, and includes California champagne.

It will be the first time in modern history that New York wines will be served at the Inaugural Luncheon. A 2010 Tierce Dry Riesling -- one of only four Rieslings to receive a gold medal at the International Wine & Spirits Competition-- will be served with the first course, which is steamed lobster with New England chowder.

Guest will be entertained by the Rochester’s Eastman String Quartet that will perform songs like “America the Beautiful” and Mozart’s Quartet in C Major, surrounded by orange themes floral arrangements by Jesse Bailey of Alexandria, Va.’s Jack Lucky Floral. The historic iron Lincoln Table, which was made for Abraham Lincoln’s second inauguration from the materials that were used for the Capitol dome’s decorative touches, will hold flags flown during previous inaugurations.

Here’s a closer look at the menu:

First course: Steamed lobster with New England chowder Anthony Road Winery, Fox Run Vineyards & Newt Red Cellars, Tierce 2010 Dry Riesling, Finger Lakes, NY

Second course: Hickory grilled bison with wild huckleberry reduction and red potato horseradish cake Bedell Cellars, 2009 Merlot, North Fork, Long Island

Third course: Hudson Valley apple pie, sour cream ice cream, aged cheese and honey Korbel Natural, Special Inaugural Cuveìe Champagne, California

The luncheon marks the 150th anniversary of the placement of the Statue of Freedom on top of the new Capitol Dome.

Guide to Awesome White and Red Wine Marinade

What’s in a marinade?

A marinade is a concoction of acid, oil, herb and spice. It’s designed to impart flavor and tenderize meat. There are an endless list of possible combinations that can be the difference between a dry cafeteria hunk of meat and a delectable, succulent world-class dining experience.

Acid vs Enzyme Marinades

Some marinades call for fruit juices such as papaya and pineapple that contain enzymes. These enzymes are the same compounds found in commercial tenderizers. There are two conflicting schools of thought: detractors of enzymes believe that they tenderize too quickly, not leaving enough time to impart flavor. This guide focuses on wine as a base.

Ingredients for Your Recipe Arsenal


Vinegar, acidic fruit juices (like lemon), or wine are the acidic components in the marinade that tenderize meats. They also play an important part in imparting flavor. An example of a high acid wine is Champagne or a zesty white wine, a wine with less acidity includes Malbec, Carignan and oaked Chardonnay.

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Don’t know what wine to choose? Here is a great resource on Picking a Cooking Wine


Beyond the staple EVOO (extra virgin olive oil) and butter, there many other kinds of oils to consider such as sesame oil, peanut oil, grapeseed oil, etc. Each type of oil has a different flavor and smoke point which is something you’ll want to consider.


The left brain of your aromatic designs, your herbs and aromatic vegetables will impart the floral, vegetal, earthy and even fruity characteristics into your meat.


The yin to your herbal yang, spices add heat, baking aromas and enhance umami flavors. Salt and pepper will always be your base, but there are many other choices to throw into the mix.

How do you choose the right ingredients?

This is where the art of composing a marinade comes in. The identity of your dish will come from a combination of the elements you choose, and (most importantly) the meat/product is the center of it all.

CONSIDER THE DISH: Step back and consider the meat as it fits in with the entire meal. Also, consider the wine you’d like to pair with the dish. Just like with wine and food pairing, pairing ingredients in a recipe comes down to complementing and balancing flavors. Start with our recommendations, then branch out and experiment on your own!

How to Assemble Your Marinade

How much do I need?

  • ACID: ½– 1 cup wine
  • FAT: ¼ – ½ cup oil
  • HERBS: ½ teaspoon – 2 tablespoons (for intensity)
  • SPICE: ½ teaspoon – 2 tablespoons of salt

Your acid plus your oil should be enough to immerse the meat easily in a zip locked container.It depends on how big the hunk of meat is, but usually you want the final result to equal about 1 cup, with half as much oil as acid. So a good measure would be ½ cup to 1 cup of wine and ¼ to ½ cup oil.

If you are planning on adding vinegar, lemon juice or Worcestershire sauce as well, you will only need ¼ of a cup. With something more pungent like Dijon mustard or overly-sweet like honey, then only 2 tablespoons are required.

For dried herbs and spices you’ll need about ½ teaspoon, but up to 2 teaspoons if you want the herb to stand out. This also varies based on how pungent the herbs are, so always taste first and measure second. For fresh herbs, some are less pungent and may require up to ¼ cup.

If you want to add some strips of zest or cloves of garlic, about 3 of each will suffice.
Lastly, if you need to increase volume to completely submerge your meat, add it in the wine.

How to Marinate Steak, Poultry and Fish (like Salmon)

Time to get your meat ready.
If you are dealing with a one inch or less thick cut of meat, it will be good to go as is. Otherwise, perforate the surface of the meat at 1-2 inch intervals to ensure the marinade can penetrate and impart flavors throughout.

Meat Time
Brisket, Roast or Flank (beef) Overnight
Rack of Lamb Overnight
Whole Chicken 4+ hours
Steak (beef) 2-4 hours
Pork Chops, Lamb Chops 2-4 hours
Eggplant and Mushrooms 2-3 hours
Chicken Breast, Thigh or Legs 2+ hours
Tofu (extra-firm style) 1-2 hours
Stew (beef) 1-2 hours
Salmon Steak (or other fish) 30 minutes
Salmon Filets (or other fish) 15 minutes
Shellfish (lobster, crab etc) 5-10 minutes


Wisk your acid, oil, dry herbs and spices in a non-reactive bowl (ceramic, glass or stainless steel) until the components are well integrated and the salt is fully dissolved. Add the fresh herbs last, gently integrating them.


Place your meat and marinade in an airtight zip lock bag or container and remove all the air you can. Mark the container with the time and date and store in the refrigerator to marinate.


Remove the meat from the refrigerator and allow the temperature to approach room temperature. Fire it up and enjoy! Whatever your method of preparation, the meat should now be thoroughly tenderized and well-flavored.

Here are a few “do’s” and “don’ts” to keep in mind:

  • DO bake, roast or sauté the dish in the marinade
  • DO use the marinade as the base for a sauce after it has been cooked.
  • DO NOT reuse marinade
  • DO NOT let the meat sit out for more than 20 minutes to approach room temperature.
  • DO NOT use marinade as a sauce raw unless you bring it to a full boil (food safety is key!)

Tri-Tip Marinade Recipe

Here is a perfectly paired wine marinade for tri-tip that takes into consideration the complexity of flavor that Zinfandel adds as a wine marinade.

Zinfandel Rosemary Marinade for Tri-Tip

  • 4-6 pound tri-tip
  • 1 cup Zinfandel
  • 1⁄2 cup olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 6 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 1⁄4 cup chopped basil leaves
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground pepper
  • Marinate overnight

main image of pork chops by Travis Forsyth
Marinade spices by my amii
Mr. Curtis on G+

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Rut-Busting Wines For New Cooking Adventures #SundaySupper

Admit it. You’re in a wine rut. Regardless of whether you enjoy wine with a meal, as a cocktail, or both, you don’t stray too far off the beaten path. You cling to your handful of favorites like Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio, Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel or Moscato.

Do you know there are over 10,000 varieties of wine grapes!

The true figure will never be known because number of grape varieties is a moving target. New varieties are constantly evolving or being produced, and some obscure varieties become extinct.

Below is the Wine Grape Varietal Table put together by grape variety expert Steve de Long. It’s lists 184 varieties of grapes.

DeLong Wine Varietal Chart

With so many varieties of grapes in the world, you’re sure to find wines other than your “usual suspects” that will suit your personal tastes, and moods.

So, if you’re ready for bit of vinous adventure, I’m offering some rut-busting wines to pair with the #SundaySupper team’s culinary adventures this week. Check out this week’s #SundaySupper menu and my wine pairing recommendations!

Pair these dishes with a sparkling wine – from South Africa! South African sparkling wine is made in the traditional Champagne style is known as Methode Cap Classique, or MCC. Look for the Graham Beck Brut Sparkling Wine Western Cape. It’s blend of Pinot and Chardonnay grapes with creamy apple blossom, tangerine, and exotic fruit character

  • Homemade Corn Tortillas from Pescetarian Journal
  • Easy Oven Polenta from Shockingly Delicious
  • Homemade Spiced Flour Tortillas from Chocolate Moosey
  • Naan from Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks
  • Homemade Tofu from Kimchi MOM

Pair these dishes with a wine made from the Torrontés grape variety. Torrontés is Argentina’s only truly indigenous grape. It produces a juicy fragrant wine with citrus pineapple and spice flavors. It’s a pretty food friendly wine too. It pairs wonderfully with seafood, or try it with a pasta primavera or spicy Asian noodle, or curry dishes. Look for the 2011 Bodegas Colomé “Estate” Torrontés Valle Calchaquí Salta.

  • Indian Moong Beans from Magnolia Days
  • Baked Lemon Coconut Risotto from Soni’s Food
  • Traditional Pork Tamales from Gourmet Drizzles
  • Pork Dim Sum from Small Wallet, Big Appetite

Pair these dishes with wine made from the Marsanne grape variety. This is probably the finest grape variety you’ve never heard of. It makes a full-bodied, sometimes rustic wine with amazing complexity, and honey, peach, and sweet spice flavors. If you like Chardonnay, give this wine a try. Look for the 2011 Qupé Santa Ynez Valley Marsanne. It’s a blend of 70% Marsanne and 21% Roussanne with floral, green apple, peach and ginger aromas, followed by energetic apple, peach,and citrus flavors on the palate.

  • Pan-fried Scallops with Garlic Chili Linguine from Food Lust People Love
  • Spanish Baked Scallops from Momma’s Meals
  • Baked Tilapia with Parmesan Basil Sauce from Growing Up Gabel

Pair these dishes with wine made from the Pinotage grape variety. It is the signature red variety of South Africa. It’s a cross between Pinot Noir and Cinsault, two French grapes. It shows the soft fruitiness of Pinot Noir, and the rustic characteristics of Cinsault. It produces a fruity, lively wine with soft tannins, and black fruit, spicy and many tasters report, banana flavors. Look for the 2010 Southern Right Pinotage Walker Bay.

  • Miso-Glazed Salmon from The Foodie Patootie
  • Savory mushroom and herb steel cut oat Risotto Foxes Love Lemons
  • Vegetarian Hortobagyi Pancakes from Happy Baking Days

Pair these dishes with wine made from the Mencia (a.k.a. as Jaen in Portugal) grape variety. It’s a grape that’s indigenous to Spain that is gaining in popularity. Typical flavors are of earth, herbs (think mint, rosemary, thyme), dark fruits (raspberry, black cherry, blackberry). Look for the 2010 Amizade Mencia Monterrei. It shows a spicy redcurrant and cherry aromas complemented by notes of Asian spices and minerals. On the palate it has lively acidity, and spice-accented dark fruit flavors with a hint of sassafras.

  • Portuguese Chorizo Bread from Family Foodie
  • Arepas Rellenas (Stuffed Arepas) from The Wimpy Vegetarian
  • Black Beans and Cheese Empanadas from Basic N Delicious
  • Venison Steak Gyros from Curious Cuisiniere
  • Rice Burger from The Urban Mrs.

Pair these dishes with wine made from the Aglianico grape variety. It’s a grape that is native to Italy which makes great full-bodied, intense, tannic wine with berry, cherries, plums and spice flavors. Its high acidity makes it food friendly. Pair with hearty meats, tomato-based pasta dishes like lasagna, or lamb. Look for the 2009 Musto Carmelitano “Serra Del Prete” Aglianico Del Vulture.

  • Braised Lamb Brisket with Lemon Oregano Yogurt Sauce from The Girl In The Little Red Kitchen
  • Penne with Mustard and Chives from My Other City By The Bay
  • Caribou & Andouille Chili from The Foodie Army Wife
  • Homemade Ricotta Cheese from Webicurean

Pair these with a Cadillac – um…the little known village just south of Bordeaux known for its sweet botrytized white wines. It’s never reached the lofty status of Sauternes, just across the river. The wines are typically made from Semillion, Sauvignon Blanc, and Muscadelle grapes. Look for the 2009 Chateau Suau, Cadillac. It a blend of 40% Sauvignon – 60% Semillon with a fruity, complex, and sweet peach and honey character with good acidity.

  • Homemade Peanut Butter from Home Cooking Memories
  • Homemade Vanilla Marshmallows from Vintage Kitchen
  • Macaroons from Noshing With The Nolands
  • Homemade Cinnamon Rolls from In The Kitchen With KP
  • Dorie Greenspan’s Orange Almond Tart from Hip Foodie Mom
  • Ombre Mini Cakes from Daily Dish Recipes
  • Chocolate Dipped Madeleines from Big Bear’s Wife
  • Hello Kitty Rice Krispies from The Ninja Baker

Pair these desserts with a sparkling red wine – Brachetto d’Acqui, from Italy. It is a produced from the Brachetto grape. Look for Banfi Rosa Regale. It has a delicate aromas of rose petals and offers luscious flavors of fresh raspberries and strawberries.

  • Vegan Chocolate Mousse from The Not So Cheesy Kitchen
  • Zebra Cake from That Skinny Chick Can Bake
  • Strawberry Raspberry Fruit Leather from Juanita’s Cocina
  • Making Macarons – FAIL! from girlichef
  • Fresh Strawberry Frozen Yogurt from The Messy Baker

Pair these desserts with Madeira, one of the world’s great fortified dessert wines produced exclusively on the Portuguese archipelago of the same name that is actually closer to Africa than Portugal. One of the things I appreciate about Madeira is that it’s relatively indestructible. Once opened, it will keep for years. Look for theBroadbent 10 year Malmsey Madeira. It’s a great match for rich desserts made with cream or chocolate. Or it can be the dessert in and of itself (If you have a sweet tooth, Madeira can satisfy it, and it has few calories too most other dessert choices!-)

And last, but not least, enjoy Bircher Muesli from Peanut Butter and Peppers with your favorite type of milk!

Join the #SundaySupper conversation on Twitter on Sunday, March 31st to talk all about citrus recipes! We’ll tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm EST. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag, and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. Check out our #SundaySupper Pinterest board for more delicious recipes and food photos.

25 Best Wines for Summer

Smoky grilled foods aren&rsquot hard to pair with wine. F&W&rsquos Ray Isle explains simple rules and names 25 affordable, easy-to-find bottles.

Aside from an incident in Maine last summer, when I inadvertently tried to turn my hand into a chicken fajita, I’ve had a long and happy relationship with grilling. I attribute this to the fact that grilling doesn’t require a lot of thought—more, obviously, than I’ve given it at times, but not a lot. It’s a forgiving method of cooking.

Similarly, pairing wine with grilled foods is a forgiving task. Most grilled dishes are relatively simple there’s a main ingredient (usually a protein of some kind), plus the possibility of various seasonings in the form of marinades, rubs and sauces. To choose a wine to pair with something off the grill, consider two things: First, how hearty is the food, and second, what’s the dominant flavor? For lighter foods—white-fleshed fish, vegetables, chicken breasts—pick a lighter wine. For heartier foods—sausages, burgers, steaks𠅌hoose a more robust wine. (Both reds and whites can be light-, medium- or full-bodied.) Now think about flavor. For steaks and butterflied legs of lamb𠅎ven if they’re marinated beforehand—the dominant flavor will almost always be the meat itself. But with foods like chicken slathered in barbecue sauce or shrimp with a fiery garlic-habanero vinaigrette, the sauce or seasoning is by far the main flavor of the dish. The dominant flavor is a key thing to consider when selecting a wine.

What follows is a selection of great wines, all available for $25 or less, to go with grilled foods of all kinds. But don’t take these wine and food combinations as gospel. They’re really designed more as suggestions or jumping-off points for experimentation. Unlike most everything else that Americans like to drink, such as milk and beer, wine is high in acidity, which refreshes the palate most reds have fat-cutting tannins, too. In fact, wine may be the most versatile food partner there is, except perhaps for water. But when it comes to a big, juicy, grilled steak, who on earth wants to have it with water?

Wine: what's new for 2014?

S o, just three days left of 2013 and what are we going to see on the wine front in the coming year? Although there will be plenty more of the same ("half price" promotions that aren't, oceans of New Zealand sauvignon blanc, continued malbec mania), things are looking more exciting than they have for a while.

First, the focus is shifting, as it has done with food, to the eastern Mediterranean. The Antique World, as Marks & Spencer is dubbing Greece, Turkey and Georgia, looks like being a new focus on the shelves. M&S is making its own contribution to that trend with Georgian whites such as Château Mukhrani's exotically musky Rkatsiteli (£9.49 13% abv) and Tbilvino Quevris (£8.99 12.5% abv), a funky "orange wine" that gets its colour from leaving the juice in contact with the skins like a red wine. (Odd but delicious. Drink it with lamb.) Watch out, too, for wines from Slovenia, Croatia, Hungary and Romania, the latter having been a source of a lot of well-priced pinot noir this past year.

The fascination with indigenous grape varieties should also put the spotlight on Italy, which has hundreds, and Portugal, which has been one of the best sources of good-value drinking over the last 12 months. Oddbins has a good selection, including the exotic, brambly Casa das Gaeiras Tinto 2012 (£9.50 13% abv), a blend of aragonez, syrah and touriga nacional that they recommend with a spicy chorizo pizza and that I'd probably drink with duck.

There are welcome signs also that the better Californian wines are becoming slightly more affordable. If you like hefty reds, try the smooth, plummy Heavyweight Old Vine Zinfandel 2009 (£12.50 The Sampler or £11.25 if you buy six, £11.35 Noel Young 13.9%abv) with a hearty plate of spaghetti and meatballs. Next year could also be the year that Canadian wine finally makes an impact if the excellent Norman Hardie wines I mentioned before Christmas (from the Wine Society) are anything to go by.

Stage 5 – bottle

Bottling is a dangerous stage when your wine can catch "the wine disease" and turn to vinegar. To avoid this, Pliny suggested adding tree resin later winemakers found that adding brandy helped prevent it and so invented sherry. We now know that it is bacteria that cause the disease and we can stop them with a Campden tablet. The sulphur dioxide released into the demijohn will kill the bacteria and also act as an antioxidant during bottling.

You are now ready to bottle your beautifully clear wine. Siphon it into sterilised bottles, being careful not to carry sediment over. I always put my new wine into old bottles. You'll need six.

This is another tasting opportunity: run some of your "nouveau" wine round your mouth. Is it fruity, sweet, tart, or astringent?

7 Must-Buy Wines for Fall: New This Season (Video)

– full-bodied enough to pair well with more robust dishes.

– extra texture, mouthfeel and weight for richer sauces.

– and just for fun, the wine is trendy like fall fashions.

You have a couple of examples there for us.

Yes, this Stave & Steel Cabernet Sauvignon from California has the heft for braised meats or a rich stew. It’s aged in Canadian whisky barrels which is quite trendy in the wine world and gives this wine a warming toffee finish.

I think of Cabernet as a little black dress: it’s versatile enough to go from the office to drinks at the local wine bar. Not that we’re in the office or going out much anymore, but this wine is so versatile that it also works well on Zoom calls.

I also have this Carnivor Shiraz from Australia for more meaty dishes. I think of this bold red with its aromas of ripe berries and plums as a belted jacket with a pop of colour.

So are fall wines mostly big reds?

Many are because they pair so well with hearty dishes. However, for your Thanksgiving turkey dinner, which tends to be a dry meat, you need a juicy, lighter, red wine like this Villa Maria Pinot Noir from New Zealand. It’ll also pair perfectly with your cranberry sauce and side dishes because it has a nervy, edgy acidity.

I think of this Pinot Noir as a statement collar that gives a great impression for waist-up dressing on those Zoom calls.

Villa Maria Estate Private Bin Pinot Noir 2018
Marlborough, New Zealand

I’d also suggest this sparkling rosé from Domaine De Lavoie Mousseux in Rougemont. It has lovely notes of field strawberries and a crisp fall-like acidity. It would not only pair with your turkey dinner, it’s also a great aperitif before the meal begins and a festive one for toasting.

This wine is a punchy print for the senses, bursting with this season’s energy.

Are white wine lovers out of luck in the fall?

There’s a wine for them too, like this robust, buttery Chilean Chardonnay from Las Mulas, which would be terrific with autumnal dishes like pork tenderloin and mashed potatoes.

This wine is textured dressing for your tongue when you want luxurious layering on your palate.

How about if we have a sweet tooth?

These two icewines from Reif and Peller are dessert in themselves, or pair them with pumpkin pie and fruit cobbler. These are this season’s finishing pieces, like a handbag with crystal fringing. They’ll add sparkle to any monochrome meal.

Peller Estates Private Reserve Vidal Icewine 2018
Niagara, Ontario VQA, Canada

Thirteen Exceptional Wines To Try In 2013

It's a new year and a fine opportunity to add some new wines to your rotation. This slide show features a few grand bargains (we certainly won't get one from the politicians), a few splurges, and several good values. What they all have in common is soft, supple tannins, drinkability now and pleasure, of course. Cheers to a successful and delicious 2013.

I’ve been traveling the globe in pursuit of wine, food and travel stories for over 16 years. From the vineyards of New Zealand to the press houses of Champagne, I’ve met

I’ve been traveling the globe in pursuit of wine, food and travel stories for over 16 years. From the vineyards of New Zealand to the press houses of Champagne, I’ve met a world of fascinating people who have stories to share. In between adventures I review restaurants for The Atlantan and contribute to several global and national outlets including USA Today, Decanter, and Departures. I've also co-authored a travel guide (The Everything Guide to Ireland), edited a city guide for Atlanta (Northstar Media), and worked as a Senior Editor at The Wine Report. I was recently awarded the MAGS Association Magnolia Award for excellence in writing and editing and currently hold a Wine and Spirits Education Trust Intermediate Certificate.

Watch the video: Great wines to ring in the New Year 2013 (December 2021).