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Top wines for the holiday party circuit

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The holiday season is upon us You’ve been invited to lots of parties. Anxious that it might cost you a fortune on wine? No need to worry. Read on for lots of great party wines for less than $20

Here is the eternal problem – you have a budget of $20 per bottle, yet you don’t want to arrive with undrinkable stuff. With a bit of savvy shopping, the two goals are quite possible.

For me party wines are a totally different ball game from gastronomical wines that I would want to savour at the table with good food. They need to be nice, but not serious. They should be delicious and easy to drink and they must not require necessarily food to be enjoyed.Finally, they should be affordable.

If you lack any knowledge whatsoever about what to bring, here are a few styles that are food-friendly, versatile, and drink well with or without food. The key is to select wines that can be flexible with almost any food and not to weighty.

Sparkling Wines – Bubbles are ideal for holiday parties. Obviously, they set the tone for a toast with and they evoke celebration, but what really makes them shine is their flexibility as food-pairing wines. If you don’t want to spend your hard earned $$$ for Champagne, look for similar dry or “brut” styles from around the world.

Refreshing whites – Favour white wines with higher acidity, like Picpoul de Pinet from France, Gavi from Italy, or Sauvignon Blanc from different regions. Consider acidity as the mouth-watering element in wine that cleanses your palate for the next bite.

Light to Medium Reds. There is a time and place for a bold and powerful wine such as a Cabernet Sauvignon, However,if your host is serving sushi or salmon tartare, what would you bring? I personally would chose a Pinot Noir; Nonetheless, if you want a slightly bolder red, look in Spain, Portugal, South Africa and Italy.

Suggested wines for your holiday parties

Sparkling:

Pata Negra Cava Brut, SAQ # 13637799, $14.35

 Fresh with a medium aromatic intensity reminiscent of lemon brioche and apple.On the palate, this Cava is light with a medium size bubble and persistent finale. Suggested food pairing: Smoked salmon appetizer dip.

 

Masi Agricola Modello Prosecco, SAQ # 13572729, $16.95

Dry and crisp with aromas of candied pear and lemon zest. On the palate, refreshing and ample with lots of floral nuances. Suggested food pairing: Cucumber rolls.

Whites:

 

Cademusa Pinot Grigio Catarratto Terre Siciliane 2017, SAQ: 13862451, $11.00

 Pretty aromas of green apple, lemon with a hint of white nectarines. On the mouth, juicy and fresh with simple yet honest flavours. Suggested food pairings: Bruschetta, Sushi or mini fish tacos.

 

Cono Sur Organic Chardonnay 2017. SAQ # 13728885, $15.85

 Good quality for the price point. Nose reminiscent of macerated tropical fruits. On the palate, the wine displays a medium acidity with a creamy texture complemented by a refreshing yet generous finale. Suggested food pairing: Mini crab cakes.

Wingara Deakin Estate Chardonnay 2017. SAQ # 13692510, $11.00

Round and creamy with soft nuances of tangerine and white nectarine. Refreshing with a long finale. Suggested food pairing: Smoked salmon devilled eggs.

 

Two Oceans Sauvignon blanc 2017. SAQ # 10967303, $10.60

 A reliable white year after tear that displays notes of fresh grapefruit, yellow plum notes with hints of fresh cut grass and apple. Medium body with a good acidity with delicious citrus flavours. Suggested food pairing: Shrimp Salad appetizers.

Fleur Du Cap Chardonnay 2017. SAQ # 00340406, $13.40

 Aromas of citrus fruits, green tea and vanilla bean. Fresh and creamy with flavors of lime zest and almond cream. Medium finale. Suggested food pairing: Bacon wrapped scallops.

Reds:

 

Enoitalia Lignum Vitis Frappato Shiraz 2017. SAQ # 13590450, $17.45

 Fresh with aromas that brings to mind ripe raspberries with a hint of pepper. Medium body with soft tannins and persistent finale that brings to mind menthol and confit violets. Suggested food pairing: Grilled spicy chicken wings.

Two Oceans Shiraz 2017. SAQ # 10529910, $10.60

 Medium to full body with ripe cranberry and black fruit tones. On the palate, fruit forward with alluring flavours of mocha and smoke in the finale. Suggested food pairing: Mini beef burgers.

 

Douglas Green Bellingham Cabernet Sauvignon 2017. SAQ # 12383248, $10.35

 On the nose jammy black fruit with hints of red bell pepper and roasted herbs. Rich and structured with firm tannins and surprisingly long finale. Suggested food pairing: Taquitos with salsa.  

Dornier The Pirate Of Cocoa Hill 2016. SAQ # 10679361, $13.95

 Vintage tasted 2015. Aromas of blackberries, dark chocolate and cumin with a hint of black pepper as well. Hearty with a medium to long finale. Suggested food pairing: Spicy beef satay skewers.

Antu Grenache Syrah Carignan 2015. SAQ # 12882856, $19.95

 Ripe and intense aromas of raspberries and strawberries complemented by hints of vanilla and cedar. On the palate, persistent and long with complex earthy flavours. Suggested food pairing: Italian meatballs.

Marco Giovanetti – info@mtltimes.ca

 

 

 

 

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