10 Foothill wines for the New Year
Sierra Starr Bright Champagne This is a Brut bubbler with a touch of sweetness. Zesty pear and apple flavors tickles your palate. It is popular with those who don’t like most dry champagnes.
Naggiar Mistero 2006 The best of Zinfandel, Sangiovese and Syrah grapes that have been blended to create a seductive ruby red wine. Enjoy with pasta, chicken or light meat dishes. $21
Solune Cabernet Franc 2005 Finished in a more traditional Bordeaux style, this wine gives you extra body and crispness and a deeper color than is typical of this varietal. Besides matching with lamb, it will work well with marbled beef. $21
Avanguardia Cristallo 2006 A soft Russian white that pairs with creamy cheeses such as Brie or rich seafood dishes, including shrimp and crab. It’s the perfect wine for the traditional Italian Seven Fish Dinner on Christmas Eve (see box). $14
Montoliva Sei Ore 2008 Sei Ore is Italian for “six hours,” the time they leave the juice in contact with the skins before pressing. The result is a dry, rose wine, with strawberries on the nose and a soft finish. It compliments holiday foods, including appetizers, turkey and desserts. $16
Naggiar Le Grand-Pere French for “the grandfather.” A concentrated yet elegant blend of the best Syrah, Grenache, Mourvedre and Viognier grapes. This wine pairs well with classic French cuisine such as sauteed or roast lamb, braised beef and fine French sauces. $46
Sierra Starr Zinjolais 2009 This wine is made in the style of a Beaujolais Nouveau wine, as in Burgundy, France. Instead of using the Gamey grape, they use Zinfandel, California’s heritage
wine grape. $15
Montoliva Aglianico 2006 A dry red wine, Aglianico is native to the Basilicata region of southern Italy. It has a subtle cranberry nose that makes it a perfect pairing for any foul, such as turkey, chicken or duck. $24
Avanguardia Ampio 2004 A lush, full red that is a great accompaniment for prime rib. It resembles Italian style merlot from Collio and meritage blends from Cabernet and Merlot. $18
Indian Springs Chardonnay 2006 This chardonnay presents a beautiful composition of aeromatics and flavors. Opening with green apples and pears, moving into citrus, pineapple and melon, the finish is bright and silky.
(Photo by John Johnson)