Thursday, December 26, 2013

Another Round of Turkey Wines

Christmas Day has arrived. So, as tradition dictates, it's off to my sister, Vixen's, home for present opening and dinner. Unfortunately, Boo had to work this year. So, that left me as the designated driver - and left me having to limit the number of wines I dove into. We still managed to go through a few given the length of the day.

1502.  N.V. Bodegas Escorihuela Gascón - 1884 Extra Brut (Argentina)

Not to play into vinous stereotypes, but we started things off with a little bubbly. I can't say that I'm aware of many Argentine sparklers in our market but I'd been waiting to try this since Boo and I splurged for dinner at the 1884 Francis Malman restaurant while we were in Mendoza a few years back. I'm not certain but I think we might have had a cocktail featuring the Brut while waiting for dinner then, but this is the first bottle that I'm adding to The List.

Ironically, while we dined at the 1884 restaurant - which is situated in the urban winery - we didn't actually visit the winery as part of our itinerary. As such, I don't really know all that much about the winery. I did see that the Extra Brut is made from 70% Chardonnay, with the remaining 30% being Pinot Noir. Knowing that the rest of my kin hardly embrace plenty o' bubbles, I thought the reasonably priced (around $20) bottle might be a nice what to introduce the nieces to sparkling wines. Even though, there was a touch of sweetness to the wine, I think we may need a little more time before the girls are ready to jump on the bubbly bandwagon. For the time being, that just leaves more for Vixen and me.

We're always fêted with a traditional turkey dinner with all the fixings at Vixen's. She does the kitchen duties and I tend to the bar. As such, I thought I'd bring along a white and a red from the ubiquitous lists of classic wines for pairing with bird - a Gewürztraminer and a Pinot Noir. Little did I know - until I started thinking to myself that the Gew was sure un-Gew-like - that I'd grabbed a Riesling instead of a Gewürztraminer. Same winery, same box of wine - just a different varietal wine. The good news was that the Riesling was just as tasty.

1503.  2012 Synchromesh - Amelia Block Storm Haven Riesling (Okanagan Valley)

Synchromesh was perhaps my favourite discovery from last summer's Wine Bloggers Conference. I took part in an excursion with the Okanagan Falls Winery Association where we hiked one of the local mountains and, when we reached the apex of the group's climb, the association had set out what must have been one of the most scenic tastings ever. That's where I immediately fell for Synchromesh Riesling and I arranged for a visit after WBC13 had ended. This was one of the bottles that I picked up.

And I can't think of a better occasion to have opened the wine for. I know I'm certainly going to look forward to opening more Synchromesh wines as well.

1504.  2008 Salt Spring Pinot Noir (Gulf Islands)

Once again, knowing that I wasn't playing to a Pinot sort of crowd, I went with the Salt Spring Pinot - which is on the more reasonably priced end of the scale. Seeing as how this wine is made from fruit grown on Salt Spring Island, I fully expected it to lighter bodied and, indeed, it was but it also had some nice red fruit coming through. I rather enjoyed it with the turkey and stuffing but it was a harder sell to the rest of the table.

I can't say that I had much luck selling the virtues of wine to familial non-believers but I've come to accept that I just need to bring along beer and/or Scotch to this tribe. There are worse things in life than having to finish off the wine on your own.

Merry Merry.

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