Five fabulous festive wines!

This article was originally published in November 2012

November makes us think of warmth and celebration. Here are five wines from our favorite people and places, perfect for pairing with feasts shared with family and friends!


  1. Ontañon Rioja “Ecologico” — Wow. Amazing, organically farmed — and as “Rioja” as Rioja can be. Aromas of dusty dark cherry and plum fruit, laced with threads of earth, brush and a hint of licorice lead the way. That theme echoes in bold cherry flavors and sails into a satisfying coda, where dried herbs, wild fennel fronds and lush fruit take a bow. Drink often, with everything!
  2. Le Tour Trencavel “Le Fou” Minervois — There’s no place on earth quite like Minervois — and this lovely wine captures the essence of its untamed, enchanting beauty. Think essence of wild fruit, intensely flavored but dry blackcap and cherry, woven with wafts of the wild herbs, junipers, oaks and Mediterranean pines that surround the vineyards.
  3. Cooper Mountain Pinot Noir “Life” — When a wine is “made in the vineyard” and that vineyard is farmed as a complex, living environment, great things happen. Wines grown in this way seem alive, with a surprising verve of character. Here’s a fine example of that delicious phenomenon from our friends at Cooper Mountain: a lovely, bold expression of Oregon Pinot noir that wraps astonishing elegance in its considerable strength.
  4. Lost River “Salish Sea” White Wine — From our friends John, Barbara and Liam in the Methow, this alliance of Pinot gris, semillon and sauvignon is a marriage of lovely contrasts. A lush texture of ripe pear and star fruit is highlighted with bright notes of lemon peel. Pure Columbia Valley notes of gravel and brush provide a sturdy, cool foundation, while crisp acidity makes it all dance. Great stuff — and pure Washington!
  5. Antech Blanquette de Limoux “Nature” — How amazing is this? Django Reinhardt meets Paco de Lucia. Crisp green apples meet lemon zest, white flowers form an alliance with savory wild herbs, while pure fruit essence dances with the mineral soul of the vineyard. Add crisp, lacy, elegant bubbles and you have a dream in a glass.

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