NC Holiday Wine Project – #5

This wine was a media sample provided by Iron Gate Winery

Red is my favorite color – in everything, especially wine!  And this wine, Blessings, is the most beautiful ruby-red wine.   It is a Pinot Noir that has been infused with cranberry making it the perfect pairing for your holiday meal of turkey, dressing and cranberry salad.  A holiday special from Iron Gate Winery , this semi-sweet wine will pair with most anything and will please even the most discerning guest.  Add some mulling spices and this wine will take the chill off as you and your family and friends come in out of the cold.  It is a great gift wine as well!


Varietal:  Pinot Noir (infused with cranberry) 

Alcohol: 9%

Residual Sugar: 4%

Price: $12.85 (10% discount on case purchases)

NC Holiday Wine Project – #4

Since I am hosting Thanksgiving at my house this year, I wanted to get all the Christmas decorations up early to create that festive, holiday feeling.  So the tree is up and the mantle is decorated.  I have looked up all the new recipes my daughter and I have talked about making in my Food and Wine Magazine and gone shopping with grocery list in hand.  I’m ready to start cooking, but will force myself to wait until Wednesday evening.

I do have some presents that I could wrap and slide under the tree, but what I really want to do right now is just sit back and take it all in while sipping on a glass of port from Shelton Vineyards .

The 2005 Estate Port from Shelton Vineyards is 90% Cabernet Franc and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon.  Reminiscent of the Oporto style ports, it is aged for 30 months in Brandy barrels and is bursting with flavors of chocolate, vanilla and toffee. 

It warms up from the inside out and is the perfect way to end a busy day.  It is also the perfect way to wrap up the Thanksgiving day of feasting.  When everyone is too full to eat again but still craving just one more bite of something, pull out a tray of truffles from Haute Chocolate and pour a glass of Shelton Vineyards 2005 Estate Port!

Haute Chocolate

Varietal: Port

Alcohol: 18%
Price: $16.00

NC HolidayWine Project – #3

                                                    RASPBERRY TRUFFLE IN A GLASS  

  Sometimes a picture really is worth a thousand words. 

With Laurel Gray Vineyards “Carolina Christmas” wine, you don’t need a pairing.  This is the perfect treat to take to that festive Holiday party you have been invited to or the perfect dessert to share with family and friends in your home.

Here I have used smaller port style glasses that were chilled in the freezer for a few hours then rimmed with Laurel Gray’s Chocolate Wine Sauce (a rich Dutch chocolate made with Laurel Gray’s Cabernet Sauvignon wine) and filled with this luscious black raspberry infused red blend.  It is such a Holiday favorite for loyal Laurel Gray customers that they prepare a special Holiday gift box that pairs the wine and chocolate sauce for gift-giving and they always sell out.  It truly is like having a raspberry truffle!

Both the wine and the Chocolate Wine Sauce are available year round.  The wine is also known as “Encore” but is dressed with a special Christmas label for the Holidays.  The label will change each year, but you will always find Kim’s signature snowman perched cheerfully somewhere  in the Holiday scene depicted.

Varietal: Red blend infused with black raspberry;  Alcohol: 12.5%;  Price: $17.00 (wine) and $18.95 (chocolate sauce)

NC Holiday Wine Project – #2

Food & Wine Magazine-Nov, 2011

So what’s your favorite holiday meal?  Do you go with something traditional like turkey, dressing, sweet potato casserole and pumpkin pie?  Or do you look for something totally different like standing rib roast, stuffed russet potatoes, fried apple pies?  What ever it is, by now your mouth is watering and you can almost smell the turkey.

Well if you decide to go traditional this year, don’t forget the Traminette wine.  For those of you that have never had the pleasure, Traminette is a relative of Gewurtzminer but with less residual sugar.  It comes in two versions: Halbtorocken (literally, translated as half dry) and Trocken, the sweeter version (derived from longer fermentation).  These two wines can carry your whole holiday meal from appetizers to dessert.  Some of the best Traminette in North Carolina is made by Max Lloyd at Grove Winery.

 The Halbtorocken version pairs especially well with turkey but is also going to pair well with spicy foods such as ham or a cranberry salad and would be perfect for brunch along side country ham and biscuit.

TIP: Per the November, 2011 issue of Food and Wine Magazine, Chef Michael Symon   keeps turkey moist in the oven by covering it with butter and cider-soaked cheesecloth.

The Trocken version of Traminette pairs really well with fruit and salty, or spicy foods.  While your turkey finishes up in the oven, your guests can enjoy a glass of wine with any number of finger foods to include cashews, olives, and “Salty Black-and-White Sesame Cocktail Cookies.”  (If you are the guest, show up with these cookies and a bottle of Traminette and you will be the toast of the party.) 

Grove Winery , voted “Best Vineyard in the Triad,” is releasing both versions of their 2010 Traminette November 18 and you are really in luck, you can stock up for the holidays at a 20% discount from the 18th through the 23rd.

Varietal: Traminette; Alcohol: 12.5%; Price: $14.99 (before discount)

NC Holiday Wine Project – #1

I love this time of year.  The weather is cooling down and is perfect for sitting in front of the fireplace with your favorite wine.  And of course, the Holidays are just around the corner.  So everyone is wondering what wines to buy to take to that party, to give as a gift or to pair with all those great Holiday foods.  So with that said, I thought it would be appropriate to address those questions with suggestions from local wineries.

Wine and Cheese:  Having friends over just to sip some wine and visit?  You may even have someone stop by unexpectedly but you can always be prepared.  Just stock up on a few of your favorite cheeses.   What better pairing than wine and cheese?  Prepare a cheese platter with your favorite cheeses.  You can add some artisan bread and maybe some seasonal fruit if you have it on hand, but it’s not necessary.  Pair the cheeses with La_Dolce Vita from Raffaldini.

A versatile wine made in the Moscato d’Asti style, La Dolce Vita boasts intense floral aromas and honeysuckle, orange peel and cardamom flavors. On the palate, fruit flavors of kiwi, peach and mango. 

Add a festive centerpiece or serve on a holiday platter and the mood has been set.

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