Danielle’s 2009 NW Holiday Wine Picks

We all know how difficult it can be to find that perfect bottle of wine to share over the Holidays. With parties and dinners, and so many options on the shelves, we decided to ask TASTE’s GM Danielle Custer, and wine aficionado, for some helpful tips. Here’s what Danielle had to say:

There have been some definite highlights in the list of NW wines I’ve sampled for TASTE Restaurant and a few have been “lingering on my palate”.  In the spirit of the Holidays, I thought I would share my love of these local wines with you all. Keep in mind that they can all be enjoyed separately or paired deliciously with rich Holiday menus.  

Brian Carter – Tuttorosso 2006 – 

Primarily a sangiovese, this is a super Tuscan blend with a bit of Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah. Wet tart cherry, licorice, mint and candied orange peel on the nose with very tart red cherry on the palate. Huge acid with a touch of under ripe black fruit (blackberry / current) with a citrus, anise linger… About $41 Retail

Brain Carter Oriana (riesling-roussanne-viognier) 2007

This extremely “pretty” white wine has it all: It’s festive in flavor all by itself but also has enough acidity to pair well with food.  Very floral nose with a little golden delicious apple, honey suckle and pears, with a bit of almond. Itis a very clean, viscous and steely wine that I can easily just keep sippin’. About $24 Retail

Olsen Estates – 100% Petite Verdot 2007 from Yakima –

With only 200 cases produced, this is a fun and unique wine that has a wonderful balance of earthiness, mineral (graphite) and red and black fruits: blackberry and black cherry with a bit of cassis, black tea, cocoa nib and spice on finish. About $37 Retail

Randall Harris – 2008 Sauvignon Blanc and 2007 Merlot

Both wines are really delicious and terrific for the value. The Sauvignon Blanc is fresh new world style without too much green grassy notes. The merlot is clean with a nice balance of fruit and leather. Both are very well made. About $10 a Bottle Retail

Adelsheim Auxerrois 2008 –

This very unique and old varietal produces an amazing wine with lemony/citrus notes and TONS of mineral (almost like wet pebbles or cement) with a very pretty sweet citrus floral “tickle” and some nectarine flesh. About $19 Retail

Efeste Jolie Bouche 2006

This amazing and really beautiful Syrah is one of my favorites around (especially because I’m not generally a big WA Syrah fan) but this one has won me over. Jolie Bouche means “pretty mouth” and that is what this wine is – just pretty in your mouth! Wonderful aromas of plum and pomegranate, black pepper and violets balanced by earthy notes (forest floor), dark cherry and plum on the palate dancing w/ an ever so slight piney / huckleberry and mint finish.  Stay tuned – we will be pairing this Syrah with a red wine braised beef dish we are doing in mid February for our Splash! winemaker dinner. Retails About $25

All wines mentioned above can be purchased in our Restaurant!

Enjoy this Holiday Season and remember to TASTE Responsibly!

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