December 22, 2009

Wines for the Holidays (and a Frugal Pocketbook)

Last week, Denver wine distributor Chip Lazzara (yes, he is related to our dear Molly), stopped by with a selection of affordable wines for the holidays. We tasted. We liked. And we were quickly convinced: These wines need to be a part of our celebratory spread. But we realize that many of you didn’t get to sample these sips because of the holiday card extravaganza—or if you did, by now, you’ve probably lost your tasting notes. So here’s a quick recap of what we tried.

Le Colture “Cruner” Prosecco
Prosecco is a clean, crisp bubbly with pear, apple, and citrus notes. The Cruner reflects a slightly creamier style than the typical “Brut” prosecco, and it’s harvested from the prestigious Valdobbiadene region.
Pair it: Aperitif, salads, light pastas, New Year’s Eve
Buy it: $18.65 (750 ml), $37 (1.5L) at Harvest Wine & Spirits (Boulder) or Sip (Denver)

Santa Barbara Verdicchio
The coastal winds of “La Marche” fill this Italian white with citrus flavors and a mineral touch. While it rings of Chardonnay and Pinot Grigio, the Verdicchio stands alone, as a different, deeper flavor for the table.
Pair it: Oysters, seafood, chicken
Buy it: $12.99 (750 ml) at Harvest Wine & Spirits (Boulder) or Sip (Denver)

La Calonica Sangiovese Toscana
The rolling hills of Tuscany (the same ones where “Under the Tuscan Sun” was filmed) are responsible for this delightful and earthy red. The medium-bodied pour has notes of chocolate and cherries, but pairs well with a meal.
Pair it: Burgers, pizza, red meat, game
Buy it: $10.99 (750 ml) at Harvest Wine & Spirits (Boulder) or Sip (Denver)

Feudi San Nicola Nero d’Avola + Syrah blend
This modern blend is big on body and fruit. Look for deep, juicy sweetness from the Nero d’Avola and spice and weight from the Syrah.
Pair it: Mature cheeses, pork roast, beef tenderloin
Buy it: $9.99 (750 ml) at Harvest Wine & Spirits (Boulder) or Sip (Denver)

Ocaso Malbec
Strong body and big structure give this classic Argentine wine a smooth, vanilla bean and coffee finish.
Pair it: Anything
Buy it: $13 (750 ml) at Harvest Wine & Spirits (Boulder) or Sip (Denver)

Cathryn Olchowy
Culinary Director

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