Friday, March 6, 2015
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Wineaux: So many wines, so few Thanksgivings

SusanLeonardiWineauxW

By
From page A4 | November 15, 2012 |

The family Thanksgiving table this year will boast wild turkey with oyster dressing, mashed parsnips, sweet potato rolls, quince/pumpkin/walnut pies and all manner of other home-made treats — served on mismatched plates with linen napkins of every color and print on whatever cloth will mostly cover the multi-leaved table.

The wines will be the best we can afford (yet to be firmly decided), poured into myriad-sized glasses, some with winery logos from tastings long past. Martha Stewart weeps.

But if you’ve been invited to feast at a more carefully coordinated table, you could cause a mild sensation by bringing a bottle of “orange” wine to match the fall décor. Orange wine (no oranges harmed in the process) is trendy but certainly not new — folks have been leaving white wine grapes on their skins for centuries. But we’ve been so concerned with visual clarity that most of our whites are off the skins immediately with a corresponding diminishing of our color palate.

Enter the orange (or amber or gold or honey).

Salinia, owned by UC Davis enology graduate Kevin Kelley, makes an excellent orange wine with organic sauvignon blanc and pinot gris from the Russian River Valley. This 2010 Saffron Haze smells of green olives and blood oranges and tastes of both minerals and lively fruit. Dry and hearty, it would be perfect for a Thanksgiving table.

Kevin likes it with Bouillabaisse or fish tacos, but people are even drinking it with steak. It’s a versatile creature, so smoked turkey, no problem. And it will look quite elegant sitting next to a matching pumpkin pie. You can find it at Vini for $30.

Jonathan Klonecke, Vini’s wine consultant, introduced me to another wine I’d love to bring to the festivities — and, added attraction, it’s from Solano County. This 2011 Broc Cellars Valdiguié is made by Berkeley-based Chris Brockway, who found Valdiguié grapes growing on a hillside in Solano County. They had been planted 70 years ago when growers, thinking the grape was a gamay, were calling it “Napa Gamay.” But grape identification has come a long way since then — it’s actually Valdiguié, a grape from Languedoc-Roussillon.

Anyway, this wine seems to me just a perfect Thanksgiving dinner accompaniment with its vivid, lively berries, a touch of mint and a lot of earthiness. Definitely a food wine but immediately likable on its own. And at only 12.5 percent alcohol, you can have more than one glass ($20 at Vini).

After this little tasting at Vini, I headed to my more traditional wine sources to ask advice of their experts. Asked for a top Thanksgiving table wine, John at Valley Wine Company immediately went to the 2010 Walter Hansel pinot noir from the Russian River. Pinot noir is probably the most popular turkey-and-trimmings wine, in part because its restrained elegance (when it’s good) enhances without overwhelming the food — and the food doesn’t overwhelm it.

Stephen Hansel makes the Hansel Family Vineyard’s pinots in the Burgundian style, and they’re hand-crafted in extremely limited lots. His pinots get very high ratings and win multiple awards — and are correspondingly expensive. At $38 this is a splurge (though quite reasonable in the world of artisan pinot noir), but John’s enthusiasm makes me think you wouldn’t regret it.

Misha at Nugget also went straight for the pinot noir shelf. He chose the ’09 Bethel Heights from the Willamette Valley. The 2009 was a great vintage for Oregon pinots, and this apparently is an excellent example. Nugget folks cite the “beautiful aromas of raspberries and strawberries … coupled with delicate hints of rose petals and lavender” — sounds good, doesn’t it? And, now on sale for $23 (usually $27), it seems a great bargain.

I think it would be perfect to have a whole array of colors at the Thanksgiving feast — from clearest white to deepest red. In between, I’m agitating for a good rosé — fruity, dry and not too light. Misha said that in a Nugget staff tasting, the very local Matchbook Rosé of Tempranillo (with a bit of syrah and malbec) outdid many much more expensive rosés. Easily available locally and around $10, this is an excellent bargain.

John’s rosé pick is from France — the 2011 Chateau Trinquevedel, a Kermit Lynch selection that’s full-bodied, age-able and fruity ($18). I’d love to try it, but now I’m torn: If I bring a rosé, I’ll have a hard time resisting the siren call of the Domaine de Fontsainte rosé I raved about in a previous column ($15 at Valley Wine).

Claire at the Co-op provided a white — the Nisia Old Vines Verdejo from Rueda. She said she has “fallen in love” with this wine, which is “rich in apricot and dense in orchard fruit and herbs, with a tinge of candied ginger. With subtle spiciness and gorgeous viscosity, this hefty white calls for stuffing, rich gravy and cheese.” I was expecting a big price tag here, but the Co-op has it on sale right now for $14. Wow!

And I want to add another white, and a very local one at that — the Clarksburg Wine Company Chenin Blanc VS (Vouvray Style). This fruity, velvety wine tastes of pineapple, honey and apricot but is quite dry and eminently food-friendly. I had it with a huge range of dinner fare, and it went so beautifully with everything that I’m confident it would shine with the turkey feast. Every time I took a sip, I tasted a different fruit. I wanted just to keep drinking — and at only 12.1 percent alcohol I think I might have been able to absorb one more glass, but my fellow drinker liked it just as much as I did, so there was none left in the bottle.

Only 159 cases of this delicious wine were made, so try it while you can. Alas, it’s not currently available in Davis, but you can get a bottle for $24 at Corti Brothers or at the tasting room (Sugar Mill).

Of course, you can’t have a celebration without a sparkler, right? For locovores, I can happily suggest the Capay Valley Sparkling Viognier ($14 at the Co-op), but I’ve recommended it so many times that I won’t belabor it. Claire highly recommends the Jean-Charles Boissett Brut No. 21 Cremant de Bourgogne, which she says tastes of “bright pear with tinges of lemon.” She notes its “bright acidity,” elegance and “feisty fervent bubbles.” On sale for $17, it seems a good bargain, too.

While she was contemplating her choices, I roamed the shelves and discovered something I’d never seen before: sparkling Grüner Veltliner. When I asked Claire if she’d tasted it, her face lit up. “It’s just wonderful,” she said, “I didn’t choose it because it’s a little pricey.” Considering that it’s now on sale for $18, I’m tempted to make this my own first choice for the great Thanksgiving Experiment.

I read a couple of rave reviews of this Szigeti Brut GV (from Austria), one of which mentioned its “joyous fruit.” Sounds perfect. GV is one of my favorite food-friendly whites, so I’m imaging that this bubbly (and apparently the bubbles themselves are an assertive, long-lasting wonder) could easily become the star of the our motley table.

I don’t drink dessert wines, but Claire assures me that the NxNw Dessert Riesling (from Columbia Valley) , with its “sweet notes of mandarin orange and lychee” and its “rich lingering notes of honey,” will do justice to those pumpkin pies — or perhaps console you if the filling of Aunt Georgia’s pie went straight from a can into a store-bought crust.

If you try any of these for your own table, let me know how you liked them and how they “matched” the food (and/or the centerpiece). A wine that serves well at the Thanksgiving feast will do just as well at the December celebrations.

Happy Turkey Day to all!

— Reach Susan Leonardi at [email protected] Comment on this column at www.davisenterprise.com

Comments

comments

Susan Leonardi

.

News

Bay Area developers join Mace proposal

By Dave Ryan | From Page: A1

 
Trial ordered in Davis child death case

By Lauren Keene | From Page: A1

 
‘Topping out': Sign a building beam at the Shrem Museum

By Jeffrey Day | From Page: A1 | Gallery

Life after lawn: Fifty greens for shade

By Katie F. Hetrick | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
CHP car hit with bullet on highway

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

UCD police warn of sexual battery incident

By Lauren Keene | From Page: A2

 
Bob Dunning: There’s an exception to every rule

By Bob Dunning | From Page: A2

Ukraine declares heavy weapons pullback from front line

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
NASA craft circling Ceres in first visit to dwarf planet

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

Got sun? Indoor herbs can thrive on windowsills

By The Associated Press | From Page: A3

 
How can we know that the products we buy for our homes are safe?

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

Quick home improvements that raise your resale value

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

 
Spring-clean your kitchen in five easy steps

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

PSAs highlight area nonprofits

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B6

 
Peripheral neuropathy support offered

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B6

Workshop eyes creating peace through creative play

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B6

 
Museum brick sales to end this month

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B6

 
Cabrillo Club plans membership dinner

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B6

Dryers: Homes’ energy guzzlers just got greener

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
Need a new best friend?

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B6 | Gallery

UCD improving farming, food production with fewer pesticides

By Kathy Keatley Garvey | From Page: B6 | Gallery

 
Waldorf’s spring tea party doubles as open house

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7

Register online for Woodland rec classes

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7

 
Older adults will discuss conscious aging movement

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7Comments are off for this post

St. John’s shows off cuisine at brunch

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A11

 
Seniors serious about fitness

By Savannah Holmes | From Page: A11 | Gallery

Pig out at Pig Day Saturday

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

 
Porkers on display at Hattie Weber Museum

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

.

Forum

Tom Meyer cartoon

By Debbie Davis | From Page: B4

 
Some convicts don’t deserve parole hearings

By Tom Elias | From Page: B4

Here’s how to make college cheaper

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B4

 
Obama’s world is a dangerous place

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: B4

Dirty laundry on the company line

By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B9

 
.

Sports

DHS girls track and field team reloads for 2015

By Dylan Lee | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
UCD women fall at UCR

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

Aggie men clinch Big West crown

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Marsh provides radio images of a ‘magical’ Aggie hoops season

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Blue Devil volleyballers cruise in home opener

By Thomas Oide | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Sports briefs: Bella Vista slips past DHS softballers

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B12

.

Features

 
Rec Report: Looking ahead to spring break

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B5

What’s happening

By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: B5

 
Wineaux: A local diamond in the rough, revisited

By Susan Leonardi | From Page: A9

.

Arts

Steve Kiser’s work on display at Gallery 1855

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9 | Gallery

 
Tables available at Vinyl and Music Fair

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A9

‘The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel': Second-rate

By Derrick Bang | From Page: A10 | Gallery

 
Learn from experts at ‘Art of Painting’ conference

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A12 | Gallery

Tom Brousseau to visit ‘Live in the Loam’ on KDRT

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A12

 
‘Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs’ auditions set

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A12

Hugh Masekela and Vusi Mahlasela celebrate Mandela’s legacy

By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A12 | Gallery

 
.

Business

Honey, we shrank the SUV — and Europe loves it

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3 | Gallery

 
.

Obituaries

.

Comics

Comics: Friday, March 6, 2015

By Creator | From Page: B10