Natale Servino shared his three preferred wines for your Christmas table with us...
Many Italian festivities will incorporate a glass of Lambrusco. You can skip the mass-produced sweet variations that you may associate with hot summer beverages and look towards a dryer example made from premium Lambrusco grapes grown North of Modena in the Emilia-Romagna Region. Lambrusco is not only great with your cold cut meats and charcuterie plates but can also perfectly complement the spiral ham on your Christmas table. Our Favorite pick is the 2017 Lambrusco di Sorbana, from Cleto Chiarli, whose house has been making the highest quality Lambrusco for over One Hundred and Forty years. Serve chilled this effervescent wine is bone dry with notes of Black Cherry and Plum.
Bring out the smoked salmon canapes, it’s the holidays! What a better way to start the festivities, than with this indulgence, and don’t forget the Chenin Blanc, the gem of the Loire Valley in France. This wine is making a comeback with producers in Northern California and has found a new home in the small wine region of Clarksburg, nestled in the South Sacramento Delta with river-marine influences. The Chenin Blanc achieves maturity without over-ripening, keeping alcohol levels low and acidity high, making it a wildly flexible wine for a variety of different food pairings. Our choice is the 2017 Haarmeyer Wine Cellars SRV Chenin Blanc, which sees a short period of skin contact before fermentation, creating a beautiful golden straw color, with added texture to compliment the meatiness of any fatty/meaty seafoods.
Oh, where art thou Merlot? After getting dogged in the wine movie, Sideways, almost fifteen years ago, Merlot still has not been able to overcome the wave of Pinot Noir that has swept through America. Yet Merlot should be the wine served most often at your dinner table, it appeals to more palette’s than any other red varietals, it can have similar boldness to other Bordeaux varietals yet ripens weeks earlier to show beautiful fruit potential and consistency over vintages. While most of Northern California’s Merlot is now being blended with other Bordeaux varietals, few producers have stuck to their guns to create a Merlot dominant varietal. If you are pairing with your Christmas Prime Rib Roast, along with other abundances at the table, you may want to select a Merlot from the Carneros Region in the far South of the Napa Valley (Carneros is the only Appalachian that straddles both Sonoma and Napa Valley’s). Warm days during the growing season, are cooled off by the air from the San Pablo Bay, lengthening the maturation process. Our choice is a 2013 Robert Sinskey’s Carneros Merlot.