Published on November 18th, 2013 | by Greg0
Wine For The Season (And Any Other)
With Thanksgiving only a couple of weeks away, it’s time to start planning the menu! And whether you’re going to host the big feast at your place or heading to the in-laws, it’s best to have a few bottles of wine on-hand for the festivities.
The most common problem with bringing a bottle- or preparing a menu of vino to go along with a big meal- is trying to figure out how to pair, or guess what wines might be welcome. Which is why it’s best to get a flexible wine that can go with a variety of foods, along with a dark red or sweet white that will work nicely with just about anything. Two of today’s wine options fit the former category, while a third sits nicely in the latter.
The Conundrum 2012 vintages- red and white, both from California- are the latest in this long-running series of interesting proprietary blends, notable for their non-traditional flavors (and secretive origins). The white tilts towards bold, a little sweet and bright, with a bit of sparkle and a hint of citrus. There’s some peach, and maybe some Sauvignon Blanc and some Moscato, and it’s an easy-drinking party pleaser. The red is a versatile winner, drinkable by the glass, and a good bet for those who aren’t snobs but who have gotten bored of the typical Malbec. Some of the flavors are usual- chocolate, red berries- but the balance is great, without any smoke, leather, tar, or anything too distracting. Neither of these might wow connisseurs, but should confuse them, and you can keep your secret safe. Available for around $20/bottle (white) or $22/bottle (red).
Continuing with the California theme, let’s look at a single varietal wine, via the sister winery Meiomi and their 2012 Pinot Noir. The name comes from the word “coast” in the language of the native Wappo tribe, and the grapes are grown in Monterey, Sonoma, and Santa Barbara counties. It’s an unusual combination- three very different appellations- but the results are a little more finished, more even, if a little less distinctive than your normal Sonoma Pinot Noir. They mention apple and cherry cola in tasting notes, which feels accurate, though we also liked the almost creaminess, a richness that is more common to Cabs, and a buzzy quality that made this one memorable (if a bit harder to pair than the Conundrum). We liked this one quite a bit, a newcomer to our palates, and one we look forward to trying in the future. Runs about $22 per bottle.