Maia’s Cellar is a new column from our friend Maia Gosselin of Sip Wine Education. Stay tuned for more from Maia every month!
No doubt about it, winter is here in full force. The holidays are over and the cold, snowy weather stretches endlessly before us with summer but a distant memory… sounds like wine weather to me! From game day parties to aprés ski to Sunday brunch there is no shortage of occasions that are perfect for sipping vino during these arctic months. To tempt your taste buds I dipped into the extensive 90+ Cellars portfolio and came up with these “5 to Survive” wine picks. Enjoy!
Lot 65 French Fusion White, Languedoc, France 2015:
This crisp and lush white from the south of France is a guaranteed crowd-pleaser and can almost always be found in my fridge! A blend of Vermentino, Marsanne, Roussanne, and Viognier, this wine is complex with notes of lemon and peach. One of the reasons I like it so much is that it’s loaded with character and flavor but isn’t so big as to be overly-heavy. Sip with creamy cheeses, crab cakes, chicken pot pie, Alfredo, butternut squash soup or, if you’re like me, just pour a big glass at the end of your day!
Lot 27 Reserve Barbera d’Alba DOC, Piedmont, Italy 2014:
This is one of my favorite sleeper wines, highly underrated. A gorgeous Barbera loaded with notes of spice, black and red cherry, violet and chocolate. Great acidity yet still rich in the mouth. Sip it with bleu or Gouda cheeses, pairs perfectly with beef stroganoff, hearty stew, meatloaf or warm brownies… basically, comfort foods! It’s also the perfect way to take the chill off after a day on the slopes or sledding with the kids. Bring it to a party and it will absolutely wow your friends!
Lot 30 Cotes du Rhone, France 2014:
There is nothing more comforting on a frigid winter’s night than this classic Rhone blend of Grenache and Syrah. Cherry and blackberry on the nose with cinnamon, anise, and chocolate in the mouth. There’s a subtle brightness to this wine. So smooth and succulent. I think it’s fantastic on its own but it’s equally sublime with pancetta and pasta, herbed roasted chicken or a roast. Personally, I love it with sausage and mushroom pizza! Easy-drinking and food friendly, what more can you ask for? This is an incredible value wine for the quality, grab two bottles! For the record, the Rhone is one of my all-time favorite regions, producing killer quality wines in a broad range of styles and price points. Believe me, there is something for everyone here.
Lot 50 Prosecco, The Magnum, Veneto Italy:
You know what they say, “go big or go home!” Perennial fan favorite Lot 50 Prosecco is now available in a large 1.5 bottle a.k.a. party size. I personally love this bubbly because it’s light and dry, without that sweetness most Proseccos have. Delicate and delicious, it has aromas of peach and pear with a little creaminess and honey on the palate. As a rule, dry sparklers are perfect with rich, fried and fatty foods. Think brunch (loaded omelets, Belgian waffles, crepes, smoked salmon) and party fare (hot wings, nachos, cured meats, dips). The Big Game is approaching, you’ll be the hit of the party if you show up with one of these!
Fun Fact: Brut means dry, meaning there is less sugar in the wine (hence the lack of sweetness). So brut bubbly will have between 6-12 grams of residual sugar per liter. Even better, Prosecco only has about 110 calories per glass!
Magic Door Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon, Columbia Valley, Washington 2011:
This is my splurge pick because sometimes you have to treat yourself! An exquisite Cab from Columbia Valley, this wine has vanilla, blackberry and spice on the nose with flavors of cedar, black currant, black pepper and a hint of caramel. Big and bold! Cabernet Sauvignon is known as the King of Grapes and this regal offering is certainly worthy of the title. I love it with a charred Gruyere burger, meatballs, steak au poivre or beef tenderloin with blackberry dressing.
Maia’s Cellar is a new column from our friend Maia Gosselin of Sip Wine Education. Maia’s aim is to educate in a fun, friendly manner, demystifying wine and making it approachable… right in line with the 90+ philosophy! From picking the perfect winter wines to suggestions for a range of celebrations, be sure to check out her posts!