Wines for Hanukkah

11/20/2013 12:00 AM

11/19/2013 11:42 AM

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.

Recommended:

• 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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