The Rack is Empty – Fill Up the Rack
Now that America’s favorite wine drinking holiday, Thanksgiving, is over, it is time to reassess “ye auld wine rack.” Is yours as empty as mine is? Well if it is, and I expect that it could use a little love, let me guide you how to best refill it for the season at hand. That said, if your holiday seasons is even half as crazy as mine can be you will need to refill your wine rack. Perhaps once for your event calendar and twice for your own sanity, oh is that just me…. perhaps not.
Having “Holiday wine” about your house is not the same thing as having “Thanksgiving wine.” Thanksgiving Wine is about the meal and the family/communal experience. Holiday Wine can be about that but more often than not it covers hosting guests, taking wine for Hanukah dinners, Festivus, and the annual Ugly Sweater Parties. In addition to these events you have the continual stream of guests (both expected and not), carolers, last minute gifts, and of course just the wine you need for wrapping gifts.
So, what kind of wines do you fit/fill the rack?
In colder months I look toward heavier wines with a fully body, just as I look toward heartier, stick to your ribs food, like: stews, roasts, and soups with crusty bread. Fortunately four our wallets and the fullness of our wine racks one does not need to spend an exuberant amount to find such wines. That said, it also means that some wines are left out of our purchases – Vinho Verde, Light Pinot Grigio, and Picpoul de Pinet. Sorry but you are shelved until it warms up a few degrees (ok more than a few) or I decided enough is enough and cook a meal where you and the sun will be shining. Actually, sorry, not sorry, I gave you so much attention over the spring and summer that I neglected the likes of what I will be buying in the festive period. No more. It is time for bold and intense wines to shine like the lights on your tree or the candles of your menorah.
Let us begin…
Sparkling Wine – Having a bottle or three bubbles in the house is never a bad thing, especially as the end of the year approaches. I recommend at least one bottle of true Champagne and at least two bottles of either Cava, Prosecco, or Sekt (German/Austrian Sparkling wine). These wines liven up the festivities; allow for impromptu celebrations when old friends come over or when you just feel the need for some bubbles to put you in a festive mood.
Bold Reds – It is time for those bold red wines to get out of hiding and back on the table and in your glasses. Hearty Rhone, Intense Zin, and Rich Spanish Reds are all back in style. These wines are all fantastic with hearty foods. They are rich in flavor and body and often have a hint of spice (sometimes more than a hint). Such wines add so much to a meal but can also be a warming welcome or used as a reprieve from the cold and wintery weather. Try Big Smooth Zin, Pasques CDR, or Finca Viladellops Tinto. Each is around $20 and a bargain.
Cali Cabs and Reds – Next we make room for some big Cali cabs and red blends. Wines that you can drink with or without food and which are prefect bottles to open up for some online shopping or when unexpected visitors come knocking…. “Oh it is great to see you again. I was just about to pen this bottle; won’t you come in and join us for a glass?” Merf Cab, Cass Paso Robles Cabernet, and Drops of Jupiter all fit this mold. Fruit forward and infinity drinkable, your guests will be impressed but you may be surprised at how quickly the bottles empty.
Ugly Sweater Wines – Finally you need a few bottles for those Holiday Parties where you show off your Ugly Christmas Sweaters or join friends for Festivus. This is where you can splurge a little or keep the price reasonable and get two bottles. I recommend either a nice full-bodied white such as a white Rhone or Burgundy. These wines are classic choices and are classy AF; great for impressing others at your Festivus (or for hiding away for just you and your date to partake in, should the other wine present be less than palatable). Alternatively, grab some quaffable red like Plantevin Cairanne or a nice Dolcetto d’Alba by Vietti. These wines are both great to drink and if you happen to spill some on your ugly sweater, their red hues will blend in with the Santa Clause and no one will be the wiser. Perfect, see. If someone does wise up to the spill just claim it is the remains of the Elf on the Shelf you disposed of for threatening to rat you out to the Jolly Bearded Man in Red. Either way you are covered.
So stock up on some wines to fill that empty wine rack and keep you in a fantastic mood. For more advice on the stocking the rack come talk to us at OWS&B and follow the #HolidayMice on our Instagram.