Peak sparkling wine season has passed along with the limp Christmas trees and glitter of New Year decorations littering the sidewalks. As a fan of bubbly, it makes me a little sad that these wines will be neglected until warmer weather or quite possibly, the next New Year. Champagne might be viewed as more of a celebratory splurge, but there are plenty of pocket friendly and often-overlooked bubbly alternatives suitable for everyday consumption. What most don't realize is just how versatile sparkling wine is!
We at Appellation Wine & Spirits pride ourselves on offering a selection that is a little bit off of the beaten path. I wanted to begin the New Year by writing about an unusual wine that I had been eyeing on the shelf of which I knew absolutely nothing about, Poderi Roset's Pelaverga. But when I began writing this newsletter something very strange happened: I had trouble finding information on the grape. For example, the book, Native Wine Grapes of Italy by Ian D'Agata makes no mention of it.
With New Year's Eve fast approaching, we here at Appellation Wine & Spirits wanted to supply a few sparkling wine suggestions to help you ring in 2015 with elegance, grace, and gusto. So, 3...2...1..., here we go:
It's that time of year again. Thanksgiving is a distant memory, Black Friday has come and gone, and we inch ever closer to 2015. We're in the middle of the Holiday Season. No doubt you've completed a good portion of your shopping, but somebody's a hold out. Perhaps you're just not sure what to get, maybe their tastes change as often as the tide, or you constantly find yourself asking 'what do I get for the person who has everything?' Don't fret, We've compiled a list for the indecisive, the difficult, and the just plain impossible to shop for.
Yesterday it snowed. A dreary rainy Tuesday, which had left a bad taste in my mouth, turned into a Wednesday full of wonder and childlike delight. Gorgeous fat flakes seemed to dance outside my windows. And just like that it’s the Holiday Season. I don’t measure its start when the Christmas lights go up, when the Hanukah candles are lit one by one, nor when holiday tunes become ubiquitous background noise. For me, it’s that time of year when the family is together and everything outside seems to pause for just a moment.
Few wines are as - "Hey! I'm walkin' here!" - impossible to ignore as a spicy, floral, in your face, and exotic Gewürztraminer. For many it evokes the flavor of lychee, and that is due in fact to the Asian fruit and Gewüztraminer sharing an aroma compound. The name truly tells its story: Originating from the ancient green-skinned Traminer variety – a close cousin to the Jura’s Savagnin – the grape was also named for the village Traminer in the South Tyrol, the German speaking province of Northern Italy.
Whiplashed by weather and the frenetic pace of the beginning of the holiday season, Thursday's upcoming pause is much needed. As we prepare to welcome family and friends into our homes for a shared meal, we'll need equally festive wine and spirits to pair. Team Appellation has come up with a list of what fills our imbibing thoughts as the holiday arrives:
My first days of enjoying wine are filled with wonderful memories of California Cabernet Sauvignon. Shortly after graduating from university, I returned home and lived with my parents in Dallas. The current release was 1994, and we would share bottles over dinner and discuss our day’s experiences. The stories would always become more colorful as the bottle’s punt rose further out of the wine.
Thanksgiving is synonymous with America. Plump turkeys, spiced pumpkin pie, mashed yams with marshmallows (quite a shock for me last year when I learnt about THAT secret ingredient)… the color on the plate mirroring the hues of the harvest and the leaves falling from the trees. Long before the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock on November 9th 1620, Europeans were already celebrating a day of giving thanks during the harvest period. In England, Henry VIII created national Days of Thanksgiving in a rebuff to the Catholic Church’s numerous holidays, and since that time one of these was set aside for marking the end of harvest and celebrating the fruits of its labor.
Finally, clarity! This past Sunday Appellation peered beyond the veil of marketing buzzwords and got to the heart of craft distilling. Our all-star panel of Kirby Kallas-Lewis, Allen Katz, Adam Schuman, led by spiritual medium Amy Zavatto, were equal parts entertaining and informative. Topics ranged from the finer points of distillation and barrel aging to the ever elusive terroir in spirits. The discussion was lively, the spirits were delicious, and (we say with total certainty) a good time was had by all.