Feliz Navidad: Spanish Wines just in time for Christmas
While it’s probably not Norman Rockwell’s idea of Christmas, Spain’s way of celebrating Feliz Navidad promises a month of excitement, flourish and color that even overflows into January. Whether it’s their spectacular month-long lottery, their day of pranks on el día de los Santos Inocentes, or their wait until Jan. 6 for three kings to bring their Christmas gifts rather than Santa Claus, each celebration is filled with special foods and hypnotic wine. No surprise then that this year, your friends at Hinsdale Cellars would bring a little of that Latino festivity home, providing Inspired Wine Club members with two very elegant Spanish wines – one red and one white, of course – that are perfect accompaniments to decking the halls and two more great reasons to say, “Joy to the World.”
Finca Os Cobatos 2010 Mencia
Say “ola” to Mencia, a new varietal to many American wine drinkers, but definitely one you are likely to want to taste again and again. Sourced from vines planted in the early 1980s, this wine comes from northwestern Spain in an area sometimes referred to as “Green Spain” because of its lush environment and cooler mountainside temps. Look forward to a lush, complex wine that will surprise and delight the most critical red wine oenophiles. Compared to Beaujolais or Cabernet Franc, this Mencia is ruby red in color with a nose of ripe red fruits and a certain earthy herbaceousness that is ever-so-slightly floral. It’s balanced with good texture that is enhanced by double-decanting or just letting the wine breath for about a half-hour. This 100% Mencia wine has bright acidity with a youthful light to medium body and tannins that actually can pair well with fish, not just your Christmas roast beast or roasted game hens.
Pazo do Mar 2010 Ribeiro (Albariño)
Nothing says special occasion like an elegant white wine from one of Spain’s award winning vintners, and this 100% Albariño is just the thing for your holiday table. Another lesser-known varietal is showcased in this refreshing, yet luxurious straw-colored wine. Often compared to Viognier, this wine has a nose of elegant minerality mixed with citrus and tart Granny Smith apple. Good, yet delicate acids make for a medium- to full-bodied white with grip and long finish. Great for drinking alone, this wine is also a wonderful match for your Oysters Rockefeller, salmon bisque or roasted whole snapper.
Merry Christmas to all our Hinsdale friends!