Food & Drink

November 20, 2013

Wines for Hanukkah

Thanksgiving Day is also the first full day of Hanukkah, the Jewish Festival of Lights.

Thanksgiving Day is also the first full day of Hanukkah, the Jewish Festival of Lights.

Let the other guys play Fantasy Football. In my Fantasy Thanksgivukkah league, I would create a multifaceted lineup of wines to go with all those flavors.

I would choose not a single quarterback wine, but a whole team of wines, to handle that onrushing blitz of flavors. After greeting my friends at the door with a glass of kosher bubbly, I would load the groaning board with a bottle of red, a bottle of white and a bottle of rose and let the diners sort it out.

I would send in sweet white wines and sweet red wines, for those who like them. Alcohol-removed wines for those who need them. For my beer-loving friends, I would substitute a seasonal pumpkin ale. For overtime, a bottle or three of dessert wines.

I would go further. The reds, whites and roses would be multi-grape blends – with up to four varieties in them – to match the multi-flavor meal.

In my fantasy league, I hope, everyone would find something to be thankful for.

Highly recommended:

• 2010 Tintara Shiraz, McLaren Vale, Australia: dark, intense and full-bodied, with black raspberry, spice and chocolate flavors, very rich; $19.
• 2012 Enjoue Rose, by Lasseter Family winery, Sonoma Valley (syrah, mourvedre and grenache): a French-style dry rose, with aromas and flavors of tart strawberries; $24.
• 2012 XYZ “Old Vine” Zinfandel, Alexander Valley (zinfandel, carignane, alicante bouschet and petite sirah): hint of oak, aromas and flavors of black raspberries and black pepper, full-bodied, smooth; $12.
• 2012 Conundrum White Blend, Calif. (sauvignon blanc, chardonnay, muscat canelli, semillon and viognier): lush, unctuous and full-bodied, with lavender aromas and flavors of apples, ripe peaches and vanilla; $22.


• Nonvintage Bartenura Prosecco Brut kosher sparkling wine, Veneto, Italy: lightly sweet, gently sparkling, fruity, with lemon meringue flavors; $17.
• Nonvintage FRE Alcohol-Removed Brut sparkling wine, by Sutter Home, California: (74 percent de-alcoholized chenin blanc and pinot noir, 26 percent grape juice): active bubbles, apple and pear flavors, almost dry; $6.
• 2011 Oakley “Eighty-Two” California Red Wine, by Cline Cellars (56 percent syrah, 15 percent petite sirah, 13 percent barbera, 5 percent cabernet franc plus other reds): soft, smooth and lightly sweet, with aromas and flavors of black plums and black pepper; $9.
• 2012 Cline Cellars Viognier, North Coast: lush, rich aromas and flavors of ripe apricots and peaches; $12.

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