And just like that, it’s November. It’s getting chilly out. It’s getting darker earlier and earlier. No need to fear, we’ve arrived at that time of year where people gather indoors and enjoy one another’s company. The Holidays are around the corner, beginning with the day of thanks. During times like these, it’s a good idea to have a stockpile of versatile wines ready to go, just in case. Case? Yes, case. 12 bottles, all different, for one low price!
2013 Picpoul de Pinet, le Chevalier de Novato $11.98 net price, $10.78 reorder
If you’ve never tried this delightful Languedoc white, boy, are you in for a treat! The name of the grape translated from the French means “stings the lip,” referencing the grape’s natural zippy acidity. On the label an illustration of an oyster hints at the perfect pairing for this wine, though any fresh bivalve will do. A charming aperitif to tickle the appetite!
2011 Moscato Giallo, Castel Sallegg $21.98 net price, $19.78 reorder
The intense, intoxicating aroma of this dry Moscato Giallo has notes of green apple, mango, orange blossom and tuberose. Grown along glacial valleys in the Italian Alps, Alto Adige is positioned just below Austria. Castel Sallegg has deep cellars where they ferment and age their wines 3 stories below ground. Try with Pad Thai or Singapore Noodles.
2010 Catarratto, Tola $11.98 net price, $10.78 reorder
Catarratto is one of Sicily’s oldest native grapes. The Tola estate has vineyards that lie between Palermo and Trapani where the famous Scirocco sends in warm winds and light sea breezes. Simple, light with an abundance of green-tinged citrus notes and flavors, this Sicilian white would match well with flaky white-fleshed fish or grilled Octopus.
2013 Rose, Domaine de la Petite Cassagne $11.49, $9.19 reorder
When it comes to pairing wines with the array of plates one typically finds on the Thanksgiving Day table, Rose is among the most versatile. Its crisp profile, coupled with just the right amount of fruit works with just about anything. Its low price makes it a good one to stock up on. The Petite Cassagne Rose has been a favorite for a few consecutive vintages.
2011 Pinot Gris Im Berg, Domaine Ehrhart $19.99, $15.99 reorder
Speaking of Thanksgiving, here’s another autumnal wine. Straight away you can sense the earthy, mushroomy aromas behind the fresh orchard fruit and almond notes. On the palate the wine is sturdy with a bit of viscosity, apple-y fruit and earthiness meet head to head and take you to a long finish. If a ham shows up at the table, this is your wine.
2012 Gavi, Ernesto Picollo $10.99, $8.79 reorder
What’s the wine of choice along the Italian Riviera? That’s a rhetorical question in this context. Gavi is in Piemonte, the grape is Cortese, and the profile is dry, medium bodied with ample fruit, and crisp. There is a detectable mineral presence, both aromatically and on the palate. This will pair well with shellfish, rotisserie chicken, or of course, turkey.
2011 Chianti, Fattoria Petriolo $14.98 net price, $13.48 reorder
A textbook Chianti jam-packed with tangy Sangiovese fruit; a cheerful combination of red cherry and dusty red dirt. The inherent low tannin and high acid nature of Sangiovese makes it ideal for any tomato-based dish or long-simmered meat. Grandma’s short-rib stew or Nonna’s Sunday gravy over spaghetti is all you need to take away autumn’s chill.
2013 Pinot Noir, Underwood $11.98 net price, $10.78 reorder
A perennial favorite, Oregon’s Underwood Pinot Noir is nearly unmatched for its quality/price ratio. How do they do it? Drawing from vineyard sites all across Oregon then blending to construct a light/medium-weighted cherry explosion, they seem to get better with each vintage! Elevate your leftover turkey sandwich with a glass the day after.
2007 Primitivo, Feudo di San Nicola $15.98 net price, $14.38 reorder
Primitivo is an Old World (Italian) relative of Zinfandel. It’s robust and earthy, with plummy notes tangling with fresh cracked black pepper. A little time spent in bottle have softened the tannins of this wine, so it’s good to go right now! When pairing, think marbled steak, Pimenton-spiced brisket, or rack of lamb – Va Bene!
2012 Mountainside Shiraz, The Winery of Good Hope $13.49, $10.79 reorder
Frenchman and TWH pal Edouard Labeye makes the wines for English ex-pat Alex Dale at his Winery of Good Hope. The concept is to keep costs down so the wines are great values to consumers; so no new barrel, no fancy packaging. Take this Shiraz out for a spin. Spicy red fruit, layers of brambly berries, and cracked black pepper; try it with ostrich.
2013 Malbec, Alberto Furque $14.99, $11.99 reorder
Malbec has taken Argentina by storm. Once upon a time, it was used as a blending grape in Bordeaux (where it still plays a minor role), but there is something about the terroir in Argentina that works for this variety. Here, Carolina Furque uses steel and concrete tank to make this plummy, med/full bodied number. A marinated skirt steak works very well here.
2011 Cotes-du-Rhone la Boissiere, Domaine Boudinaud $13.49, $10.79 reorder
What better way to round out this month’s DD than with a tasty Cotes-du-Rhone. Pound for pound, the red wines from this region continue to represent some of the wine world’s best deals. The 2011 la Boissiere is medium bodied, complex, and balanced. It’s a great all-purpose red, and would suit pizzas, calzones, pasta dishes, and burgers just fine.
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