FAIRFIELD COUNTY, Conn. -- Ready or not, Christmas is here and with it, the mad rush to get everything ready for entertaining family and friends. Jon Haight, owner of Wine Unwrapped , which holds educational classes and private tastings across the Fairfield County area, offered advice on wines to please even the fussiest of guests.
- "Sparkling wines are the perfect way to greet guests at Christmas," he said. "Roederer Estate Brut Anderson Valley ($24) is one of my favorite American bubblies. I'ts perfect by on its own but it also a great match for appetizers."
- " Ravines Dry Riesling Finger Lakes , 2013 ($17) is a wine that pairs well with ham. It has great flavors and it has with a nice touch of acidity that makes it refreshing. This wine is wonderful with shellfish as well," he said.
- Beef tenderloin, beef fillet and prime rib are often on the menu this time of year and that calls for Pinot Noir, a crowd-pleasing red that complements those meats. Ponzi Pinot Noir Willamette Valley Tavola 2012 ($25) is a graceful wine with a nice, long finish and is highly recommended, according to Haight.
- For those looking for a red from an up-and-coming region try the Mencia grape from Bierzo in northwest Spain. " Descendientes de J. Palacios Bierzo Pétalos from 2009, 2010, and 2012 were all very good vintages," he said and cost about $23. "Flavors of black cherry, espresso and smoke with a plush texture make it a pleasure to drink with most any type of meat."
- Last but not least, as the meal comes to a close, try something lighter with a bit of sweetness. The Vietti Moscato d'Asti Cascinetta 2013 is an estate grown and bottled wine "low in alcohol, a touch sweet, and has enough acidity to keep it from being cloying." It has flavors of apricot and ginger and a bit of carbonation to wake up your taste buds.
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