Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Serve Your Cellars’ Best Before Dinner

Last year I bought a five-foot long, red metal sign that simply just spelled out the word, GATHER

Displayed on our long farm table in our appropriately named “Gathering Room” it just speaks to me… I can almost smell my mother’s dressing; see my father carving the turkey and my son sneaking treats to our Scottish terrier under the table.

As the holidays approach, we get a lot more questions on food and wine pairings. And after doing a little more research and reading the overwhelming amount of advice, I found some notes that banished all the complexity and stress. Even for me who’s in the wine business this was a relief… and it pairs nicely with my innate desire to Gather. After all, much of the appeal of Thanksgiving dinner is found in the kitchen with wonderful aromas enveloping all the cooks!

So here’s a fresh look at what you might offer.

First, for big holiday meals don’t overcomplicate the wine selection. It can be as easy as simply opening a few different types of wine and letting people choose their favorites.

It’s the perfect time to serve your wines 'family style,' the way you serve your meal. Just open your selections and let your guests help themselves to the tastes they like.

And of course, if you have that special bottle of prized wine in your cellar, bring it up for the holidays.

But here’s where most people make a mistake.

Typically they like to make their special wine the showcase, serving some less expensive variety beforehand.

I recommend the opposite.

Before dinner, open that prized bottle and let people enjoy all its delicate flavors -- without food affecting the taste. And while all are savoring the bouquet, you might actually get a word in and offer that special toast to those most special in your life.

After this, the food takes center stage. So serve several bottles of food-friendly, not so expensive, wines that blend well with the wide variety of dishes on your table.

Then, sit back and enjoy your gathering.

Best Wishes,

Ps. Wine suggestions and a Holiday “Gathering” Wine Package Below.

Most holiday wine recommendations include Chardonnay, Rose (off-dry to dry), Riesling, Gewurtztraminer, and off-dry Sparkling Whites along with Reds such as Pinot Noir, Zinfandel and Syrah.

Below are our Olympic Cellars vintages, which you’ll find follow nicely in this tradition:

The “Special Bottle”: 2005 Syrah, Gold Medal at San Francisco International Wine competition

2007 Chardonnay Barrel Select
2007 Lemberger Rose, a.k.a. Rose The Riveter
2007 Dungeness Riesling
2006 Dungeness Lemberger
2006 Zinfandel (Gracefully Aging Red)
Holiday Cranberry Jubilee (80% Chardonnay, 20% Cranberry) Very Limited Production

Olympic Cellars “Holiday Gathering” Wine Packages

Just order 4 or 6 wines via our website,

  • Selection of 4 of our wines. Includes a wine mulling spice packet for making hot-spiced wine, recipe included

  • Selection of 6 and receive $10 off your shipping

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