Friday, November 23, 2012

Stella’s Extravaganza Highlights Holiday Wine

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Stella’s restaurant in downtown Perrysburg hosts a great monthly wine tasting. Earlier this month they held their Holiday Wine Extravaganza with some delicious food and great choices for holiday entertaining.

The tasting featured six wines from Heidelberg Distributing, two white and four red, for a price of $20. This had to be the best deal in town because the chef outdid himself with a delicious buffet that featured calamari, salmon, chicken with a sun-dried tomato sauce as well as beef tips and salad. It certainly would have been worth it at three times the cost.

Green Dragon was still out of town volunteering with the Red Cross in New Jersey. I felt a pang of guilt as Glorious T, the Cabinator and I filled our plates and glasses while Green Dragon was sleeping in a shelter. The moment quickly passed as I headed for the first wines.

The leadoff wines were two Chardonnays. The Merryvale Chard from Carneros is unoaked sells for about $30. This was a serviceable wine, but not special. I was much more enthusiastic about the Clos du Bois Calcaire Chardonnay from Sonoma. This is a well-balanced Chard with just the right touch of oak. For me, this is a great deal at $20.

The transition to the reds came in the form of a Carneros Pinot Noir from Robert Mondavi. I was surprised by the high drinkability of this wine. This is an easy sipper and sure to be popular with most dinner guests.

The final three reds were really what we were hankering for. Leading off was the 2009 Mount Veeder Cab from Napa. This is a solid Napa Cab with cherry plum and chocolate with a price of $30.

I had two favorites for the evening. One was clearly the best wine, the other was the best wine value (translation: the price was reasonable enough that my wife wouldn’t clobber me).

The Clos du Bois Marlstone is from Alexander Valley, a great little corner of Sonoma in California. We first discovered this wine at the Island Wine Festival on Put-in-Bay. It delivers incredible taste at a nice price of only $30 – about half of what it should go for. It is opulent with a smooth body and flavors of blackberry and cocoa. It is a Bordeaux blend that is primarily Cabernet Sauvignon, but has Merlot and a supporting cast of other delicious grapes. I bought a bottle of this.

Mount Veeder Reserve, a red Napa blend, wore the crown for the evening. The 2007 vintage features 83% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9% Malbec, 5% Merlot and 3% Petit Verdot. Quite simply, this is what good wine is all about. It draws you in with an enticing aroma and as you sip, you experience layer after layer of flavor. Plum, dark cherry and vanilla all are evident in this full-bodied wine. The finish is long indeed. This baby goes for $60, but even so is a great value.

These are some great choices for your holiday entertaining.

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