Choosing A Wine For Thanksgiving

November 16, 2005

Chapoutier Belleruche

Some Rhone wine suggestions for your Thanksgiving feast.

The classic meal of roast turkey, stuffing and cranberries offers a variety of flavors that expands, rather than limits, the types of wine that can be served. Ideally, the wine should have good fruit flavors, refreshing acidity for balance and not be too tannic or oaky. Champagne and other sparkling wines work wonderfully as would an aromatic Pinot Noir, a crisp Riesling, a fruity Beaujolais Nouveau or a spicy Zinfandel. This year, however, I am recommending a Cotes du Rhone.

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Australia’s Clarendon Hills Winery Uses Old Vines, Techniques

February 16, 2005

Clarendon Hills Astralis

A review of recent releases from the Clarendon Hills Winery.

Like Curt Schilling in the World Series, winemaker Roman Bratasiuk is at the top of his game. The owner of the Australian winery Clarendon Hills is a Ukrainian émigré and former biochemist. The winery, located in the McLaren Vale region, was started in 1989. Bratasiuk bases his wines on old — some as old as 75 years — low-yielding vines and even older winemaking techniques. The grapes are grown close to the winery, and the yeasts are indigenous as well. He does not filter or use other techniques to refine the wine, depending instead upon new oak barrels and long maceration times to allow the wines to develop their characteristic flavors. The results are flavorful, complex wines that have subtleties often associated with the finest French wines — which is exactly what Bratasiuk is trying to achieve.

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