Old and New Holiday Traditions

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By Maureen Rooney/Siesta Key Wines & GiftsWine pairing2

It’s November and the Holidays are already upon us. It’s a wonderful time of year when we begin planning to get together with family and friends for our annual celebrations. Many of us will adhere to traditions passed down through the generations, and some of us will venture out to create our own new traditions, hoping that future generations will embrace new ideas.

Wine has been part of our holiday traditions for centuries. The type of wines we use in our celebrations has also changed over the years with more wines available now than ever before. In 19th century France, the villagers would await the early vintage of Gamay in Beaujolais and then celebrate the successful harvest. In 1985 the Beaujolais regions of Burgundy decided to all release their young Gamay wines on the same date, the 3rd Thursday of November, hence beginning this new tradition of releasing Beaujolais Noveau.

Beaujolais Noveau has made its way into the American culture, mainly because of its release every year just before Thanksgiving. The wine is only fermented for 3 days and is extremely light with a relatively high level of acidity. It must be consumed within the first year or it will lose its quality. It was meant to be drunk as a table wine in which one could over indulge because of its lack of heartiness. If you are looking for a better quality wine in Beaujolais, then one must try one of their 10 Beaujolais Cru’s that can mature from 3 to 20 years depending on the type. Those are some really good Beaujolais’

A much more elegant grape from the Burgundy region is Pinot Noir. The Pinot Noir harvest is later than that of Beaujolais and is definitely worth the wait.  With its silky smooth texture and lower acidity level, it’s our choice for your Thanksgiving Dinner.  But, let’s kick it up a notch this year for a change of pace and try Pacifico Sur Pinot Noir from Chile.  It’s a wonderfully fruity Pinot Noir with a medium body and will be an excellent complement to your Turkey Dinner. Even the most discriminating palate will appreciate this wine.

What about starting some other new traditions? Last year we introduced an American Wine called
Cran-Bec, a limited edition wine, which is a semi-sweet blend of cranberries and Malbec grapes. It’s a low-sulfite wine and is excellent with Turkey Dinner or Turkey Sandwiches. This wine is a must for those who are looking for something slightly sweet and for the skeptics, too. Cran-Bec has been so popular that it is now part of our Cellar Collection.

Now we can’t forget about desserts. Do we suggest a dessert wine? Not exactly. Think about how you are going to feel after eating all that food. And of course, you want to save some room for that pumpkin pie. What is light and great with pumpkin pie? An awesome German Piesporter Riesling! It’s not overly sweet and it lets the flavor of the pumpkin pie shine through. Our favorite is Nollen Erben Piesporter Michelsberg Kabinett.

Stop by the wine shop or give us a call for recommendations on planning your holiday dinner. Gobble, gobble!






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