By Eric Harris, Wine Steward Barcelona Wine Bar and Restaurant
It’s that time of year again. It’s time to stuff ourselves full of homemade cooking, relax with our friends and family, watch football, and of course, drink wine. Now, we just have to figure out what to drink with dinner. Your first thought might be Beaujolais Nouveau, but haven’t you done that already? I’d like to put a Spanish twist on things.
If your family is anything like mine, not everybody is going to wait for dinner to crack open the first bottle of wine. You might want something to go with the hors d’oeuvres. My choice for starting the day off is the 2010 Marques de Gelida Rose Brut Reserva. This is a biodynamic rose cava made from 100% Pinot Noir, showing beautiful bright cherry, cranberry, and strawberry flavors, with a very clean refreshing finish. This wine will work well with many cheeses, cured meats, olives, salads, and other light fare. It is also quiet delicious as an aperitif on its own.
When dinner is served I know I’ll be reaching for a bottle of Mencia. The specific wine I have in mind is the 2010 Dominio del Bibei Lalama. This is yet another biodynamic wine, a trend in my selections that is by no means accidental. It is a beautiful wine with bright red fruits and strong acidity upfront with a lovely complex finish with prominent flavors of dark cherry, dried rose petal, slate, and subtle spice. If you cook anything like I do, almost everything is sure to be full of butter. This wine, with its strong fruit structure and complexity, will make a great pairing for the variety of rich flavors across your dinner table. This wine’s acid will go a long way to refresh your palate during the meal.
Finally comes the important part, pie. Those last few blissful bites will surely send you into a much needed, food-induced nap on the couch. It would be a shame for them to go unaccompanied. With our final course, I would suggest a nice glass of sherry. The Alvear Asuncion Oloroso stands out in my mind. With its soft notes of maple, cinnamon, and toasted nuts it is sure to pair well with a wide array of pies, cookies, and other delicious holiday treats.
Now, you don’t have to stick to my suggestions. The wide array of flavors that can find their way to your dinner table during the holidays leaves you with plenty of options. Other notable mentions are: Traditional Rioja Reserva, Priorat’s Garnacha Blanca, Rioja’s aged Viura, and Moscatel Dulce.
When choosing your wine for the holidays, it can be hard to make sure what you pick up at your local wine shop is the quality you desire. Always remember you can ask your local neighborhood sommelier or the owner and clerks at a wine shop you trust. If you’re in Brookline for the holidays I suggest taking a look in The Wine Press on Beacon St.
Whatever you chose for your holiday festivities, myself and the Barcelona family wish you all the best. May your dinner be delicious, your wine be plentiful, your company be great, and your day be restful.