Ah, holiday wine pairing articles.
I know, most of you hate ‘em.
Trouble is, when it comes to wine drinkers, that vitriol puts us squarely in the minority. Many, many drinkers search for this kind of thing at pretty much every holiday, so it’s up to wine-writer-folk-types to try to make the dreaded duty of holiday wine matchups interesting (a daunting task, when so much of it has been done already that you always run the risk of the article being staler than a box of Capt’n Crunch left open for a month at a Jersey Shore beach house).
I’m happy to report that my Winter holiday installment this year has been made engaging courtesy of the visual wunderkinds over at Fix.com. Titled “Festive Wines Yule Love: Celebrate the Season With Our Holiday Wine Guide,” they’ve put quite impressive visuals onto my overviews of the unsung wines that deserve an airing when the weather gets chillier and the snow starts falling (of course, that’s already happened to us in mid-Autumn… ok, whatever…). Take a gander at how they visualize the “what to expect” aspect of the wines’ aromas and flavors – it’s just freakin’ cool, maaaaaaan!
Below is an embed of the infographic for your viewing pleasure, and so that you can flame me for not including your personal favorite holiday go-to vino in my list…
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It’s been a while since I bitched and moaned about tasting (okay, and drinking) wines long before “their time.” So I think we can both agree that I am due for a repeat.
The trouble is, in the words of Loki, “I am burdened with glorious purpose!” when it comes to wine criticism. Generally, I’m supposed to taste vino, ascertain where it sits on the quality spectrum from worst to best in the world, taking into account where it’s from, what it’s made of, and when it was crafted, and guessing at the intentions of those who made it, then make a determination of a recommendation (or not), including guessing when it will likely be drinking at its best, even though that last part is almost entirely subjective.
It also makes the “job” bittersweet, in that occasionally I run into a bottle from the sample pool that is excellent and downright stunning, enjoyable now but teasing at how, given X amount years of further bottle repose, the constituent elements might come together to offer something even more compelling.
It’s the “f*ck!-this-tastes-great-now-dammit-why-couldn’t-I–have-waited?!??” syndrome. First World problem, yes. But doesn’t make the tinge of regret any easier to bear, probably because I am a weakling.
Anyway, before I flagellate myself over this and you start playing sad songs on the world’s smallest violin, let’s talk about the stunner…
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Winter is nigh (sorry, peeps, face into it), bringing with it the 2014 Winter edition of Publix Grape Magazine.
I’m still fortunate enough to be penning items for Grape, including this time out several wine pairing write-ups, including desserts and other seasonal recipes. So, if you’re hankering to know what supermarket wines might pair up with a Double Apple Crisp with Salted Bourbon Caramel Sauce, or Squash & Lentil Salad with Hazelnut Vinaigrette, you’ll want to head over to one of their locations and check out the issue (try not to drool over the food porn too much, okay?).
For this issue, I’ve also provided an introduction to the topic of wine tannins (including a primer on which grapes have lower / higher pucker-up tannin potential, from Gamay to Tannat) for their In Focus section.
You can subscribe to Grape (for free) to check it out.
Just make sure to have your pucker face ready.
If you need a break from all that palate-ripping tannin talk, head over to my article section on Snooth.com where you can find a primer (and recommendations) on the different levels Chablis (and its palate-ripping acidity).