It’s that most wonderful time of year again and that probably means a big celebratory meal (or four). Despite the fact that popular holiday movies depict Americans roasting turkeys for Christmas, most of us can agree that only British people roast turkeys because their nation lacks our single greatest holiday invention – Thanksgiving. Roast beef and ham anchor many Christmas tables, while brisket and chicken remain the proteins of choice for Hanukkah (though Hanukkah is more known for fried and oily foods like potato latkes and donuts than a main protein). And don’t forget, New Year’s Eve is just around the corner, so time to stock up on the bubbly (frankly, it’s always time to stock up on bubbly, in my opinion).
BUBBLY – Pair with cheese, latkes, New Year kisses, and hangover eggs
Patterson Cellars Sparkling Rosé of Pinot Noir 2014
(Columbia Gorge; $38)
Freshly baked brioche bread pops on the nose followed by classic cherry and strawberry notes on the palate. Start your year with the good stuff!
Sigillo Cellars Brut Viognier 2015
(Columbia Valley; $32)
Warm bread on the nose followed by white peach and citrus on the palate, refreshing and crisp on the finish.
Idilico Albariño 2015*
(Yakima Valley; $15)
Redolent with grapefruit and under-ripe nectarine, the aromas continue into the palate with a full, pleasing mouthfeel and a touch of honey. Pair with salty cheese and briny seafood like oysters.
The Walls McAndrew Chardonnay 2014*
(Columbia Gorge; $42)
This delicate bouquet has a hint of banana followed by Meyer lemon on the palate with notes of fresh hay, a whiff of spice and what the winemaker describes as Queen Anne’s lace on the finish. Pair with shellfish and chicken.
Dunham Cellars Shirley Mays Chardonnay 2014
(Columbia Valley; $25)
A blend of stainless steel and French oak fermentation, this chardonnay gives off aromas of peach, apple, and honeysuckle. The moderate oak profile lends structure and a bit of toast on the palate with a crisp citrus finish. Pair with chicken and buttery seafood.
Gramercy Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon 2013
(Columbia Valley; $50)
Red and black fruits and floral notes provide a beautiful bouquet followed by some cedar and gravelly tones in the palate – a little like wet pavement. The tannins are elegantly managed and it finishes with soft insistence. Pair with beef tenderloin.
Pepper Bridge Cabernet Sauvignon 2013
(Walla Walla Valley; $60)
Pure Walla Walla fruit steps up to the plate bearing aromas of blackberry cobbler, crushed graphite and tobacco. Velvety plum on the palate dances with flavors of coffee, licorice and clove. Assertive tannins will stand up to a fat meaty roast. Pair with ribeye roast or prime rib.
Novelty Hill Stillwater Creek Vineyard Grenache 2014
(Columbia Valley; $28)
This lighter-bodied red has an aroma of earthy raspberries and cherries. The palate is bright, with lush acidity. Pair with baked ham.
DESSERT – Pair with sweets and cheese (see individual suggestions)
Brian Carter Cellars Opulento Port 2013
(Yakima Valley; $22 375ml)
Comprised of traditional Portuguese varietals and fortified with brandy from 3 Howls Distillery in Ballard, this inky-dark red port hints of raspberry, cherry and a little almond in the nose before opening onto the palate with chocolate and berry. Pair with Stilton cheesecake baked with a bacon-lard graham cracker crust, to be specific. Also pairs well with chocolate or substitutes perfectly for the sweet jelly normally served with sufganiyot (donuts).
Patterson Cellars Late Harvest Roussanne 2015
(Yakima Valley; $23 750 ml)
Light golden in color, this sweet dessert wine entices with a peachy, caramel nose and in the palate accompanied by light baking spices. Pair with salty cheese, pear tart, or drizzle directly over ice cream.
Waterbrook Late Harvest Ice Wine Semillon 2010
(Columbia Valley; $30 375ml)
Caramel and vanilla on the nose following by citrus and tropical fruits, passion fruit and pineapple on the palate. Sweet but not cloying. Pair with apple pie or bread pudding.