With the holidays around us, it couldn’t be a better time to introduce you to some tasty picks that make great wines for the holidays, but quite frankly, anytime of year. Here are three fun wines a l’il off the beaten path but worth noting for your tasting pleasure.
Great Wines Pick #1: Bianchi
Meet Bianchi Wines from Paso Robles California as the first of our picks for great wines. We had an opportunity to get some samples in for tasting recently and think they make a great choice for the holidays. See our more extensive review of the six Bianchi Wines we sampled from their vineyards.
Their Sauvignon Blanc from Monterey County is crisp and light. With its stainless steel fermentation, you don’t get that buttery and vanilla flavors you’re more accustomed to with California Chardonnays. Their Chardonnay from Santa Barbara County was amazing with grilled salmon. We wished we still had some of our crab from Cameron’s to eat with this scrumptious white.
Their 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon is 100% Cab in every way, has been aged in French oak for three years and is an amazing choice for lamb or steak. And, DO try their 2012 Petit Sirah with a beef stew or a steak. All delicious and at a great price point, head on over to their site for more information including how to order.
Great Wines Pick #2: Folktale Wines
On a fall trip to Carmel, we discovered some delicious wines from Folktale Winery in the middle of Carmel Valley. While bubbly isn’t my favorite, their Rosé Brut sparkling wine is a very popular with their fans.
They put the blend together in a stainless steel tank and add bubbles through the charmat method, which allows them to control the level of effervescence and achieve the desired texture of the wine. By doing this, the result is a softer, less aggressive style that tastes more like a prosseco or frizzante wine — oh so delish. We approve!
The palate on this one is elegant, with cherry, floral, and a creamy texture — perfect for a warm spring day.
Then there’s their 2014 Pinot Noir which was fermented in tank then aged in 10% New French Oak for ten months before bottling. The result is such a smooth and balanced taste that you can’t get enough of it. This Pinot made it easy to pick Folktale Winery as #2 for this “Great Wines” list.
The color of this gorgeous wine is deep garnet and on the nose, you’ll get plenty of plum, dried cherries, and blackberry mixed with tea leaves, black pepper, and jasmine.
As for the palette, think cherry, raspberry, blackberry, and plum with some floral notes, spice, and a hint of eucalyptus. It drinks a bit bolder than most Pinots and is ever so smooth. After starting our evening off with a glass, we continued to drink it throughout the night, pairing it with meatballs one night and grilled vegetables. Head on over to their website for more information including how to order.
Great Wines Pick #3: Vivanco Wines
Our last pick are Vivanco wines from Spain. We didn’t have a chance to sample many but we did get a couple in from the vineyard to test out and our favorite has to go to their Rioja which is oh so smooth and well-blended. Their aged offerings include Vivanco Crianza and Vivanco Reserva wines in the traditional Rioja categories.
One other quirky and historical thing to note is their Vivanco Museum of Wine Culture, which although I haven’t yet been, sounds fascinating. They have 4,000 square metres, 5 permanent exhibition halls and six rooms, devoted to educating and honoring 8,000 years of wine history. Outside, the Garden of Bacchus, a collection of grapevines boasts more than 220 varieties from around the world. More information on their history and wines can be found on their website.