Buy Wine: December 2010 Archives

Tasting Value

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winetoast.jpgA master sommelier offers tips for picking out delicious Napa Valley wines at bargain prices.

by Kathryn Jessup

Napa Valley's reputation for monster Cabs, at equally monstrous prices, can be disheartening for wine lovers. Where's the zest of the winemaker and the joy of the drinker amid the market pressures of Screaming Eagle and Scarecrow? An alternative can be found at Meadowood, where master sommelier Gilles de Chambure offers Napa Valley's Hidden Values, a one-hour lecture and wine tasting. De Chambure agreed to share his cheat sheet, usually only available to guests..


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Block Party

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blockparty_HERO.jpgWhat's the latest craze in the wine world? Boxed wine! It's back and its better than ever. Throw out your old expectations of boxed wines and think inside the box. For your next party or to send as a wine gift the Block Party Chardonnay and Cabernet duo delivers on taste, value and convenience. Great as a wine gift for the hostess or to send across the country to family and friends too.

Read on for Block Party's great benefits:

Guide to Giving Wine

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White_Christmas_MWD.jpgWine, either presented as a single bottle, as an assortment of wines or in a wine gift basket is a great gift choice that anyone can use and really enjoy. Whether  bringing wine for the dinner party host, as a business gift, appreciation of friends and professionals, a wine gift is usable and thoughtful. Now how do you choose what to get? You can shop by gift type or shop by recipient to help you narrow it down.

SHOP BY GIFT TYPE

Wine Gift Assortments
Wine packs make excellent gifts. You can consider a pre-selected assortment of wines or choose wines by the bottle to create your own customized collection of wines. Consider the foods that your loved one enjoys and you can start to get a sense of the types of wines they might enjoy. A general rule of thumb, lighter wines pair better with lighter foods, heavier wines, heavier foods.

Holiday Entertaining

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mwdHolidayTable.jpgHoliday wine and food pairing can be tough. Figuring out which wines to pair with such a wide assortment of foods is a challenge for even the most experienced chef and the thought of entertaining on top of everything makes is stressful! Here are a few guidelines to follow to ensure your food and wine pairings are easy and fun:

Main Dish
For the white wine lover, a soft Chardonnay is a great accompaniment to poultry and an assortment of sides. Even a Riesling or Pinot Grigio could work. The minerality and apple-citrus notes common to Pinot Grigio match well with rich holiday foods. Also, while many assume white wine is the ideal poultry pairing, Pinot Noir's fruity character and lack of tannins are ideal for serving with turkey. It's vibrant and fruity character is sure to please red wine drinkers too.

If you end up serving an elegant roast meat at your holiday dinner, select a bolder red wine, like a Meritage, to match the stronger flavors of the meat.

Side DismwdRedWineGlasses.jpghes
Any of these earlier wine pairing suggestions will also work well with the myriad of rich side dishes that often accompany the main course. To complement the spices and flavors try a delightful Syrah-Malbec. This lighter red, with its own notes of spices and earthiness, will stand up well to any dish, from sweet potato mash to creamed pearl onions.

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