Where Wine Meets Cheese and Falls in Love
If you are like me, you have not bought a single Christmas present, and you're going to be pressed for time. Fortunately, many of the people on my Christmas list are wine drinkers, and I have some gift ideas. Sometimes buying wine for a wine geek can be difficult or intimidating. If this is the case, consider a wine accessory as a gift. There is a lot of paraphernalia that wine lovers use, and some of the items make excellent gifts.
Every wine drinker needs wine glasses, and they are definitely a consumable item because they often break. So if your wine lover didn't need wine glasses last year, they might need them now. There are many wine glasses on the market, but for the money, there are only three choices to consider. First, if your 401k hasn't lost any value, or you've been selling short for the past few months, you might consider the Riedel Sommelier series. Second, the Riedel Vinium series is the standard for most serious wine drinkers. Finally, the Schott Zwiesel Tritan Forte series are my favorite everyday wine glasses. These glasses are dishwasher friendly and break resistant.
Another gift idea is wine totes to carry wine. First and foremost, a wine tote must protect the wine it transports. Be sure the tote you select has plenty of padding. If you are considering a "hard shell" tote, be sure the carrier can accommodate a bottle of champagne, an artistic syrah bottle, or a fat-bottomed Pinot Noir bottle.
Lastly, if the wine lover on your list is a bibliophile as well, there are many choices to consider. If it is a reference book that you are interested in, consider The Oxford Companion to Wine, Third Edition by Jancis Robinson. You will not finish this book on the plane ride home, but it is a great book. If you are looking for a less encyclopedic, more historical read consider, Wine and War: The French, the Nazis, and Battle for France's Greatest Treasure by Donald and Petie Kladstrup. A more contemporary or controversial pick would be Alice Feirings's book, The Battle for Wine and Love : or How I Saved the World from Pakerization.
Whatever you celebrate, I wish you and yours a safe and happy holiday season. Cheers!
Wine of the Month
Frexienet Cordon Negro Brut
Frexienet is the leading Spanish producer of sparkling wines created in the methode champenoise tradition. Cordon Negro Brut is Frexienet's most popular cava, often referred to as the "Black Bottle Bubbly." It is the number one imported sparkling wine in the world and is still ideal for any occasion. It is crisp, clean, and well balanced. It is medium-bodied with a palate of apple, pear, and bright citrus flavors, with a moderately long finish and a crisp touch of ginger. Harvest is done by hand and first fermentation is done in stainless steel tanks, at controlled temperatures between 57-60 degrees. Drink now.
Cheese of the Month
Chavrie Goat Cheese
Chavrie is an authentic quality goat cheese made in the French tradition. It is made with microbial rennet and is free of animal enzymes. It is also gluten free, kosher certified, and good for vegetarians. Its fresh mild flavor and creamy texture make it ideal to spread on crackers. Chavrie goat cheese logs are perfectly sized for entertaining and are versatile, as they can be sliced, spread, or crumbled. Chavrie logs are made with only three ingredients: 100% Grade A cultured, pasteurized goat's milk, salt, and enzymes.
Tzadziki with Chavrie Goat Cheese
Yields: 4 - 6 servings
2 large English cucumbers, peeled, diced Ω inch
4 oz. Chavrie goat cheese log
Ω tsp Garlic, chopped fine
1 Tbsp mint, chopped
1 Tbsp dill, chopped
1 oz. Lemon juice
Salt and pepper to taste
Drain cucumbers for 10 minutes in a colander. Meanwhile combine all remaining ingredients. Fold in the drained cucumbers. Refrigerate overnight before serving. Serve with pita chips.