A few weeks ago I received 3 unsolicited bottles of wine to review. All of the words below in italics are directly from the distributor, as to why you might enjoy their wines for the holidays, following my reviews.
At the same time, I was given a new wine-aerating device to do a product review on. See that review following the last wine review.
Yes, I am very thankful for these gifts, as I am for you dear reader!
Choosing wines for your holiday meals presents a delicious challenge for hosts in every kitchen. It is best to choose a wine that will complement the many different tastes and textures. Pinot Noir, at its best, has an elegant, light taste, which pairs well with heavy holiday dinners without adding yet another powerful taste to the table. Pinot Noir is the perfect wine to knit together the cornucopia of fragrance, flavors, and textures of the meal.
09 Sonoma Coast Vineyards (SCV on the label!)
Pinot Noir from Sonoma Coast, California
Appearance – Clear, ruby to a deep garnet edge, a few specks of silver.
Aroma – Cherries, leaves and stems right off the bat, and in a few more seconds, notes of rich soil, the palest of peppermint, grape soda, some tobacco.
Taste – Balanced and smooth on the palate, very bright and pleasant red fruit followed by mild tannins, white pepper, some astringency and drying on the back palate.
Finish – Mid length.
From Sonoma Coast Vineyards Freestone Hills: Pinot Noir 2008 is perfect to pair with the heavy foods of Thanksgiving. The mixture of dark black cherry and ripe rich black raspberry fruits plus pomegranate will insistently enhance any fall celebration and we think it is perfect to pair with a Thanksgiving turkey! It’s fruity enough to bring together the different flavors of the meal while creating a fresh taste. SRP $39.99
2010 Llai Llai
Pinot Noir From the Bio Bio Valley, Chile
Appearance – Clear with some sparkles. The raspberry color, paler color to an almost clearness to 3 of four edges in glass, top edge (at turn) slightly deeper than center.
Aroma – rose petals and stems, cherry-scented soap, mushroomy, wet gravel…
Taste – Cherry soda – due to a slight effervescence, dusty, stemmy, some smoke, mild pleasant fruit and balanced tannins.
Finish – Medium finish with tingly tannins holding on the mid palate. Not familiar with Chilean Pinot Noirs, this was a quite pleasant, light version, to some of the domestic heavyweights I’ve seen in the last couple of years.
From Llai Llai: This light wine will blend in with the many foods of the holiday and allow guests to enjoy the flavors of both their drink and dinner. This Pinot Noir is hand-harvested, creating a deep, brilliant red color with a ripe and intense red fruit aroma. Llai Llai Pinot Noir has the perfect balance of alcohol and acidity creating a certain elegance and sweet earthy notes, perfect for harmonizing multiple flavors. The very ripe and soft tannins allow for a long, rich, and smooth finish which is necessary to preserving the moistness of the turkey. Recently named the Best Value Chilean Pinot Noir by World Value Wine. SRP $12.99
2009 The Crossings
Pinot Noir from the Awatere Valley, Marlborough, New Zealand
Appearance – Love a screwcap for starters. The palest of plums, golden lights reach toward edge.
Aroma – Stemmy, bright cherry, freshly washed mushrooms and mint leaves.
Taste – Cherry, raspberries, white pepper, a little residual/back palate smoke, astringent.
Finish – Long and tingly.
Same wine Through Vin – Aire Instant Aeration system:
Bigger than my Vinturi, the bowl and the stem. No drips were cool, and sitting in the bottle instead of having to find a napkin to lay it on, cooler.
Appearance – No change – save a slightly lighter color and lighter edge.
Aroma – Decidedly more “mature” with more dust, chalkiness, more vegetal nuances, mushroom comes up much stronger.
Taste – Astringency lessened, fruit a bit more forward – which I didn’t expect after the way the aromas changed and put the fruit behind the vegetal notes. Definitely smoother, Though, side by side, going back again with a fresh glass against the aerated one…I’d have to say…both are great. If your palate prefers the sound of my second description of a “mellowed” wine or the first, with more “bright” notes, it would be entirely up to you. For me, now, I’m mixing both glasses together.
Finish – Changed to medium instead of long! Not that it matters, but it is something worth noting.
From the website: The Crossings Pinot Noir 2009 is said to be a fantastic wine to pair with potatoes; a Thanksgiving favorite. Its finely poised aromas of red cherry, spice, raspberry, and gentle smokiness forms the perfect smell for the nose. The palate is vibrantly intense with a full rich and silky mid-palate which creates a very persistent finish. The resplendent ruby red goes through to the core of the wine and will harmonize the many flavors of the Thanksgiving meal. Recently named a Best Buy and Best Value for Pinot Noir by World Value Wine Challenge. SRP $18.99
Finding Your Vin-Aire
- It has an award winning design that after pouring a glass of wine fits into the top of your bottle to allow you to catch all drops and eliminate dripping.
- It is designed with a wider mouth so that spillage and clogging is avoided as your pour the wine into your glass of wine.
- The VIN-AIRE aerates wine instantly as you pour, thanks to the state of the art technology of its oxygenation air ducts.
- The VIN-AIRE softens tannins resulting in a more pleasant finish. Any bitterness or bad aftertaste is reduced or eliminated. In brief, it Improves flavor and bouquet!
- Oh, and it has a very classy look.
Purchase 1 “Vin-Aire” for $40, purchase 2 or more $35 ea. If you go to the owner’s actual website you’ll see that he sells them for 49.99. With us it’s a saving of $10 – $15.
Order from local resident Denith Sandoval: firstname.lastname@example.org
Want to watch the Vin-Aire in action: