A Few Suggestions to Toast to New Year’s
Since New Year’s Eve is coming up in less than 3 days, instead of scrambling what to do for New Year’s Eve, here’s a few suggestions how you can celebrate. Beyond what is listed and written on this post, you may look back at my Champagne and sparkling wines gift guide that I posted earlier last month. If you are really going to splurge a bit and have some fine caviar served at your shindig, you may look at my previous posts related to caviar for ideas.
I am a fan of Schramsberg‘s sophisticated sparkling wines. Their Brut Rosé 2008 ($41) has a pretty pink blush color with wonderful berry flavors such as strawberries, cherries and raspberries. Silky mousse with sweet vanilla and toasted, yeasty brioche notes at the end.
The Blanc de Noirs 2007 ($38) is mainly a pinot noir with some chardonnay making it crispy, citrusy and bright. The mouthfeel is creamy. I can imagine something light like sushi or simple caviar canapes would pair very well.
Mumm Napa is another Californian sparkling wine that is easy to drink for New Year’s. The Cuvée M ($22) is a demi-sec that is yeasty and tastes of juicy young fruit (strawberries and peaches). Effervescent and clean as they come, it is, as expected a little sweet for an apertif but might show best on its own as a warm-weather quaff or after a meal. Mumm Napa Brut Rosé ($22) is rich with black cherry, strawberry, vanilla and yeasty notes. It has great body and can stand up to heartier, substantial foods beyond your cheese and charcuterie platter.
Mionetto Prosecco is the most affordable of this list and tastes great. Their Brut D.O.C ($16) is light bodied, very dry and crisp with hints of green apple. It paired well for my recent caviar dinner. The Valdobbiadene Superiore D.O.C.G. ($19) is Mionetto’s highest quality Prosecco Spumante named after the renowed and limited area of Valdobbiadene called Cartizze. Luxurious in its inviting bouquet, with hints of apple, pear and rose. Round flavor, fresh, and pleasantly delicate. It’s great paired with a light meal like seafood and fish. The Moscato Dolce ($16) is a sparkling dessert wine that is fresh and crisp with a citrus bouquet. It is great to pair with after-dinner desserts and hot and spicy entrees. Golden yellow in color that is smooth and fruity on the palate, with an alcohol content of 8%.
Franciscan Estate is a long time Napa Valley producer best known for Magnificat, their Bordeaux-style red blend. Chardonnay Cuvée Sauvage 2008 ($40) is produced entirely from fruit sourced in the Carneros appellation of Napa Valley. This offering is 100% Chardonnay. Aromas of vanilla bean, toast and nutmeg join an alluring array of orchard fruits on the nose of this Chardonnay. Pineapple, apricot, and hints of mango join continued orchard fruit notes throughout the palate of this wine. Spices emerge towards the back of the palate and lead to the lengthy finish which shows off lemon crème, minerals and chestnut characteristics with some oakiness.
Their Magnificat 2007 ($50) has very dark garnet hues, with evenly concentrated color throughout. Deep aromas of black cherry, blackberry jam, blueberry, red plum, toasty oak, and cocoa. Decant for best expression, and be rewarded with full, ripe flavors of dark cherry and dark berry preserves. Blackberry and smoky blueberry are prominent jammy notes, at first. As the wine opens up, more complex flavors of black plum, oak, braised mission fig, brown spice, flint, dark cocoa and dried herbs emerge. It is a beautiful “big” wine and it’s great paired with richer foods (grilled food and meat dishes).
Ravenswood is synonymous with Zinfandel. Few wineries in California have been more successful in producing outstanding wines from this varietal than Ravens Wood. Since the mid-1970s founder and winemaker Joel Petersen (lower left) has championed Zinfandel and kept true to his motto “No Wimpy Wines”. Admiring European winemaking, he has followed Old World methods limiting technological interference while using native yeasts and small open top fermenters and aging in barriques.
Ravenswood ICON Mixed Blacks 2008 ($75) is slightly opaque and very very dark purple colored blend opens with a pleasant blueberry bouquet with hints of clove and vanilla oak. On the palate, this wine is full bodied, well balanced, super smooth, and fruit forward. The flavor profile is a very tasty gentle blackberry with notes of blueberry. There is also a touch of oak and plum. The finish is dry and its building tannins stick around for a bit. This wine would pair well with filet mignon.
Ravenswood Pickberry Red Wine 2007 is a classic blend of merlot (58%) and cabernet sauvignon is packed with flavor detail. It tastes vinous rather than bluntly fruited as it evolves across the palate, yielding tart red berries, floral scents and game. The tannins have reached a chocolate ripeness, hints of tobacco, while the wine shows some acidity, framing it along the edges. Decant it for a thick-cut sirloin.
I recently “discovered” Goldin Artisan Goat Cheese. These are a fantastic goat cheese that is beautifully matured in Molalla, Oregon. This goat cheese farm started in 2004 by Carine Goldin who is from Savoie region of France. Because of her fond childhood memories of cow’s cheeses like La Tomme de Savoie, La Tome des Bauges, Le Reblochon, La Raclette, she wanted to recreate them in goat’s milk instead. (Each cheese is $23.20 per lb, not including shipping)
Certoux has a wonderfully semi-firm paste. Underneath my wash rind cheese, it was starting to develop this addictive, oozy, creamy layer. I had to stop myself from eating through this entire wheel in one sitting.
Tomme Cuivrée is a semi-firm cheese that is slightly crumbly, tangy and rich and buttery in flavor. Goldin’s Tomette Rustique has a pale white semi-firm paste that has a nuance of nutty flavor. Cascadian Frechette is a semi-firm cheese is approximately five weeks or more and offers a medium distinctive flavor. The rind is edible and it complements the rich paste. Tomme de Sawtell has a mild cheese, earthy mushroom scent with lots of flavor. It is a great cheese to have with a glass of Pinot Noir from Oregon.
Hope these would give you some ideas for your New Year’s celebration. Cheers and I wish you all a happy and healthy New Year!
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Goldin Artisan Goat Cheese