Holidays and Pinot Noir
All of us with roots in the Northern Hemisphere are drawn to celebrating the mid-point of winter. The practice goes back beyond history. When the days are short, the nights long and cold, and the harvest is in, we feel the need to connect with family and friends around a fire, share a rich, comforting meal, and of course, open a bottle of Pinot Noir.
For holiday feasting, we think that Pinot is the perfect accompaniment. No other wine has the suppleness, smoothness and complexity to bridge a taste universe that includes a rich roast, tart berries and earthy root vegetables.
Clos de la Tech’s Pinots carry the signature of the variety - wildly complex aromatics and flavors that range from berries to botanicals to earth. The berry elements of Pinot Noir include both red fruits (raspberry and cherry) and black fruits (blackberry and blueberry). The botanicals highlight dried herbs, spices, forest floor and mushrooms. And the earth component includes minerals, soil and rocks.
At this time of year, we especially appreciate Pinot’s unique, forest-floor notes that can include hints of pine and fir, saluting the ubiquitous Christmas trees and wreaths.
While a Clos de la Tech pinot will be perfect with a prime rib roast, a juicy turkey or even a spicy ham, we have developed some additional suggestions for pairing one of our pinots for your Christmas feast.
For instance, you might want to consider a whole roasted salmon as the center-piece of your holiday meal. Top and stuff the salmon with a mixture of finely chopped parsley, tarragon and dill and fresh lemon zest, moistened with extra virgin olive oil. The salmon should cook over a pan of hot water in a 250 degree oven, for about 40 minutes per pound.
Our pairing suggestion would be the 2010 Domaine Valeta Sunny Slope, which is rich, round and intense. The most prominent characteristics include raspberry, toast, rose petal, clove, cedar, cherry and oak. While the tannins are plentiful, they are submerged under the rich fruit and rich mouth feel. As with all of our 2010s, this Pinot Noir is firmly built, exotic and serious. You’ll be surprised at how well this Pinot pairs with fish!
If your preference is for the more traditional entree, you might choose a roasted duck or goose, or an elegant pork roast infused with garlic and herbs. To accompany these rich main dishes, we would select our 2010 Domaine Lois Louise Twisty Ridge – intensely floral and fragrant with measures of cherry, red currant, plum and rose petal. The palate is supple and slightly peppery with subtle overtones of oak. The sturdy tannins provide a solid foundation for the long, rich finish.
For a vegetarian entree or side dish, you can offer a platter of fresh crimini and portobello mushrooms roasted with olive oil and salt, and finished with a dusting of fresh thyme and parsley. To enhance the earthy mushrooms, try our 2010 Santa Cruz Mountain Estates – fleshy, rich and concentrated with a firm, tannic core. The nose offers ripe fruit notes that include cassis, plum jam and cherry. The palate is balanced and lightly oaky with traces of pepper, cedar and spice that carry through to the long finish. This is a solidly-built Pinot Noir that showcases the power and character of the Santa Cruz Mountains.
As the air turns crisp and the holidays approach, we wish you a peaceful, tasty and love-filled season, from all of us at Clos de la Tech!
Note: All of our wines from the pairings in this post can be found here!