Wine for a Feast Monthly Wine Newsletter November 2014

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Ashland, Oregon
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Monthly Wine Newsletter
November 2014
Wine for a Feast
November is here. Regardless of which holidays you
celebrate, November tends to be a month of eating and
drinking. As it gets cooler outside and awesome things like
squash start coming out I find myself eating more long cozy
dinners at home. All these too cold to leave the house
dinners just become one big lead up to the biggest of them
all, Thanksgiving.
This doesn’t just mean turkey wine, turkey’s pretty easy
to pair. This means wine that great aunt Mildred and your
nephew who just turned 21 will both enjoy without breaking
the bank; this means wine that will go with many family style
meals that accommodate everyone’s intolerances and
preferences; this means wine that you can pair with the
many strange and wonderful pot luck dishes that appear on
your doorstep. Let’s just say it’s a challenging time to buy a
bottle for a food oriented family gatherings. So let’s dedicate
some time to wines for the family, wines for a crowd, and
maybe a few special occasion wines.
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Over Here
Oregon produces so many delicious wines and our cooler
climate tends to make wines that are lighter bodied with
bright acidity. Both of these things make for wines that do
well with food.
Foris Pinot Blanc – There can be no talk of food wine
without talk of Pinot Blanc. To me this is one of the best
white wines for food. Its fruity aromas and fuller body
means that it can stand up to spicy, salty, even stinky (think
blue cheese); while its lively acidity handles fat like a
dream. On top of all this it’s pretty enough to not
overwhelm salads or delicate sea foods. Foris’ Pinot Blanc
is very true to type, incredibly reasonably priced, and local.
If you’re looking for one affordable wine to serve for the
whole meal, this is a gem. Try it November 21st.
Pebblestone Rose of Syrah – Rose is an often
misrepresented and misunderstood wine. A proper Rose is
not sweet at all. It’s made much like a red wine, except the
fermenting juice spends less time in contact with the dark
grape skins. This still has a lot of the bold character of a
Syrah, but significantly lighter bodied and less tannic. This
combination makes for a food friendly wine that goes with
a lot of different dishes, the greatest challenge of
Thanksgiving.
Witness Tree Pinot Noir – Pinot Noir is a classic
Thanksgiving wine and our proximity to the Willamette
makes us a more than a little spoiled by choice. This one is
light and elegant. The bright cranberry fruit notes make me
think of Thanksgiving. For under $20, this is the Oregon
Pinot Noir that I have been reaching for all fall.
Quady North GSM – This wine came out last year and it
was indeed delicious, but this year it is drinking incredibly
well. The bright fruit of the Grenache and the gorgeous
earthiness of the Mourvedre are starting to show through.
For those of you who like something a little heavier than a
Pinot Noir, but still don’t want o over power dinner with a
big bad wine, this is an amazing compromise. Come try it
November 23rd.
Cooking with Wine
Over There
There are so many incredible local wines that
sometimes it’s hard to remember all the delicious wines
from around the world that make their way to Ashland,
Oregon. I love having access to so many different wines
and feel like it’s our duty to enjoy at least some of them.
Domaine Thulon Beaujolais – Banish the thought of
cheap Beaujolais Nouveau, I’m talking about the real
deal here. Beaujolais is either adjacent or part of
Burgundy depending on who you talk to. Either way
the region makes delightful light reds with the Gamay
grape. I love that they are light bodied, have bright
acidity, delicious berry notes, and a hint of earthiness
that keeps it from being too frivolous. This is also a
fantastic Thanksgiving wine. It will go great with fowl,
but is also a fantastic pairing with sweet potatoes,
pumpkins, and other fall flavors. Stop by and try it
November 14th.
Barockhaus Piesporter Riesling – To me Riesling is one
of the most versatile wines out there. The heavenly
aromatics, the seductive floral notes, the lush fruit, and
the zippy acidity of this wine combine to make a wine
that goes with virtually everything. When faced with the
broad range of flavors that come with Thanksgiving
dinner, an off-dry Riesling is probably my favorite
choice. For the price, this one blows all of the
competition out of the water.
Graham Beck Sparkling Rose – The holidays aren’t the
holidays without bubbles. They are delicious, they are
celebratory, they taste good with most things, and they
look so pretty in champagne flutes. Don’t be turned off
by the color, pink doesn’t mean sweet, it just means that
the wine spent some time on the skins giving in color
and a little more structure. Graham Beck is a fantastic
winery in South Africa and this is by far one of my
favorite wines by Graham Beck, do yourself a favor and
take a bottle or two home. Also make sure to come try
it November 7th.
Many of you will probably encounter recipes calling for
Marsala, Madeira, or Sherry. They all contribute
different flavors to dishes, but in a pinch you can always
substitute them for each other. I like to keep a bottle of
decent Marsala around because it will last forever. Just
stick a cork back in it and keep it in a dark cupboard
until next November, it will be fine.
Also keep in mind when cooking with alcohol that
although you don’t want to spend a fortune, you
normally end up reducing the wine. This means that you
cook off the water and alcohol, leaving all the flavors, in
effect making them stronger. If the wine is truly awful,
you will taste it in your dish. Similarly, a nicer wine can
add a lot of depth and complexity to sauces.
San Antonio – This is a winery out of California that
survived prohibition by making communion wine and
now makes nice, low priced wines for cooking. If you
really don’t want to spend a lot, these wines will not add
off flavors to your dish.
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Come Taste
Thursday November 6th 4pm: Troon
Friday November 7th 4pm: Summit
Saturday November 8th 2pm: Schultz
Thursday November 13th 4pm: Lorelli
Thursday November 13th 4pm: Goodlife Brewing
Friday November 14th 4pm: Grape Expectations
Saturday November 15th 2pm: Willamette Valley
Vineyards
Saturday November 15th 2pm: Ciders and Mead
Thursday November 20th 4pm: Ledger David
Friday November 21st 4pm: Foris
Saturday November 22nd 1pm: Valley View
Sunday November 23rd 2pm: Quady North
Monday November 24th 4pm: Abiqua Wind
Tuesday November 25th 3pm: Del Rio Vineyards
Wednesday November 26th 4pm: Crater Lake Cellars
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