Christmas is another holiday to break bread with friends and family. Once again the wines that accompany any holiday meal not only enrich the cuisine but also bond everyone together at the table. Like Thanksgiving we decided to review three wines, a Ferrari Brut, a Mionetto Brut Prosecco and a Steven Kent Winery Sorride. All three wines are ideal for any upcoming holiday party or dinner.
Similar to our experience at Thanksgiving reviewing wine seemed to open the conversation up, making the evening livelier. It created a fun atmosphere to share and celebrate Christmas Eve.
Beginning with a selection of appetizers; Mushrooms A La Grecque, Radicchio Marmalade with Burrata on Brioche Toast and Bacon wrapped Dates and Pickled Watermelon Rinds, we paired these with the Ferrari’s signature sparkling wine, the NV Brut, which is made from 100% Chardonnay. The grapes come from the Alpine slopes in Trento D.O.C. and utilize the metodo classico, whereby the hand-harvested grapes undergo a gentle pressing and first fermentation in tank. The wine is then bottled and a second fermentation occurs with selected yeasts and is aged 24 months on the lees. The final touch is the addition of the “liqueur d’expedition”. The Brut was sweet yet dry. This sparkling wine was complex with flavors of pear, apricot and grapefruit. The sweet fruitiness of the wine gave way to a dry finish.
Over the last several months I received so many sparkling wines to review I decided to be a little different and try more than one with the meal. The Mionetto Brut Prosecco seemed perfect to serve with our first course, a Herb Mixed Green Salad. This wine is from Veneto region of Italy, in an area near Valdobbiadene where the grapes are grown on sloping hills just north of Treviso. The grape varietal is Giera and are soft pressed with the must separated from the skins. Using the Charmot Method, the secondary fermentation takes place in temperature controlled stainless steel. The wine is very bubbly, very dry with a lighter quality and a lemony zest as compared to the Ferrari Brut. As this Presecco sat the wine displayed wonderful almond or marzipan flavors.
Our entrée consisted of Brined Spiced Rack of Pork with Apple Cider, String Beans with a Meyer Lemon Sauce, Red Cabbage with Hazelnuts and Root Vegetables in the Roast Drippings that was paired with the SKS Sorride, a red blend of 50% Barbera, 25% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Franc and 10% Pinot Meunier. The wine is very drinkable with fruity hints of raspberries as well as cardamom and cinnamon, which is emphasized by the Barbera. The wine is aged for 21 months in mostly new American oak. As I always try my red wines at a second sitting, my family and we found that the following evening the finish on the Sorride was predominantly vanilla.
What is unique about this wine from the Steven Kent Winery located in Livermore is that the tasting room team members created this blend as part of a "whose wine blend is better contest" at the winery. The winning non-vintage red blend is bottled with a pink and white label and sold at the Livermore Harvest Festival for the last eight years. Sorride means, “to smile” in Italian and this wine will definitely bring a smile to all that drink this fun wine and especially those who benefit from it because $2.00 from each bottle sold is donated to the fight against breast cancer.
We were all extremely satisfied with our dinner and felt the wines were a nice compliment to our holiday celebration.
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