View Full Version : Wine advice needed.

11-26-2004, 05:35 PM
Every year my insane family has a Christmas Eve meal of, clam chowder (made by my Sister, first-rate chowder), fondue and smoked salmon. First thing to know is that the smoked salmon is the best in the world, fresh salmon caught by my dad and hand smoked with loving care by mom (she usually uses the belly straps). None better. It would cost about $200/lbs if put on the open market.

I'm lazy about finding wine for the meal and usually just grab some white wine from a supermarket (a Riesling or Chardonnay) or a Zinfandel (beer also goes well with this meal).

I wanted to get a special wine this year so Iím soliciting advice from the more sophisticated wine machines that inhabit this forum. Family (and I) tends to like drier wines as opposed to sweet. And the preference is usually white but this is not a hard rule.

Any suggestions?


11-26-2004, 06:10 PM
Here (http://forumserver.twoplustwo.com/showflat.php?Cat=&Board=exchange&Number=1210022&Fo rum=,f20,&Words=%2Bwine&Searchpage=1&Limit=25&Main =1210022&Search=true&where=bodysub&Name=&daterange =1&newerval=5&newertype=w&olderval=2&oldertype=w&b odyprev=#Post1210022) are the responses I got when asking about wines a few weeks ago. Some of them that I really liked are:

Martin Ray Angeline Pinot Noir ('02)

Cornbread Maxwell
11-26-2004, 06:12 PM
I'd much prefer a Duvel Belgian Ale with a meal like this than I would a Chardonnay or White Zin (blech).

Then again, the only wines I drink are Cabernets or full bodied reds.

BTW that meal sounds delicious.

11-26-2004, 06:40 PM
If you can get wines shipped to your state, which is the case for many western states, then go to the following websites:

1. www.testarossa.com. (http://www.testarossa.com.) All of the Chards are great. They have big fruit, not a lot of oak (thank god), and are quite wonderful. Get some Pinot Noir while you're there, too. Whites are about 30/btl, and red about 50/btl.

2. www.michaudvineyard.com/. (http://www.michaudvineyard.com/.) Michael Michaud is the man for wines. I'm loving this stuff! His Chard is truly wonderful, but the real treat is a Marsanne (sp?). Nice floral nose, super dry (alcohol is 14.9%!), and one of the finest white wines I've ever had. Get some Sangiovese while you're getting it from him (ready to drink now), and his Syrah is great, too (age for a couple more years). He also makes a dynamite pinot. Their top-end whites run about 30/btl, and the reds about 40. This winery is so good, I may join the wine club, which says a lot. They only sell direct (though Michaud told me he's selling to Spago, and the Hollywood set is now catching onto this gem).

3. www.fogartywinery.com/. (http://www.fogartywinery.com/.) They make a nice Gewurztraminer, of all things. You can maybe find this in a decent wine shop. This wine had lots of fruit, but is really dry, too. The best Gewurtz made in California. I don't like their Chard, too much. Too oaky. The Gewurtz is only like 15 bucks a bottle, and is one of the best values in wine.

There you have it. Sucker's guide to some excellent white wines. You won't do any better anywhere, and if you live in a non-bastard state, then you don't have to leave your couch to get it shipped. I suggest you get some of all of them. When you're done, you can shoot the bottles with your new gun! Enjoy!

11-26-2004, 08:01 PM
Tough meal to pair a wine w/ IMO. I am not the expert on this either. However, given the variety and the fact you probably need a white wine, and need something that goes w/ different stuff, and it is a holiday, I say a nice brut champagne. Some Moet or Tattinger or something in the $30 range would be what I'd look at. I drink a lot of california wines, but for sparkling I tend to prefer the French stuff. The nice thing about champagne is that it can be consumed at all hours, goes with many things, and can be nicely decadent.

11-26-2004, 08:29 PM
I love sauvignon blanc with all kinds of seafood. This was our staple white - St Supery Napa Sauvignon Blanc (http://www.stsupery.com/wines/stsupery/sb.html) ....Up until the local store ran out (I like to think I was a major cause of that). Great stuff; bit denser and more complex than the typical sav blanc.

11-26-2004, 08:53 PM
Good to hear the Angeline agreed with you. It's one of the best bargains I've found this year.

To the OP:

When you are eating smoked food, the flavors tend to override some of the more delicate chardonnays and pinot noirs. Therefore, you might want to try a moderately oaky version of one of these wines. I generally dislike oak, but you want something that's going to stand up to the smoked flavor, and the interaction between the smoked salmon and the oaky wine could surprise you.

For the chowder, the classic choice is going to be either a Sancerre or Pouilly-Fume, both of which are made from sauvignon blanc. These are very dry wines which are fairly acidic, so they can cut through the strong shellfish flavor very nicely. If you decide to try either of these, make sure you get the help of one of the employees at the store, because the quality of these can be pretty uneven. New Zealand sauvignon blanc will also work well here, and you will probably have a little more margin of error.

Champagne was mentioned by another poster and that sounds like it would work also.

Gewurztraminer isn't a bad choice either, but the American versions can be pretty spicy. I like this, but a lot of people don't. You might be better off grabbing an Alsatian gewurz, which is going to be a little more rounded and subtle than its CA or WA counterparts.

11-26-2004, 09:42 PM
HDPM beat me to the punch with the sparkling wine suggestion. For about $30 you can get a Veuve Cliquot, Moet, or Laurent Perrier. I'm partial to Veuve myself. You could also try a Rosť for something different. Laurent Perrier does a nice one that is reasonably priced (around $40 I think).

Sucker has some good Chardonnay suggestions. Gloria Ferrer and Miner are another couple of good Chardonnays. I think any good Zin, Syrah or Sangiovese would work as well. If you decide to go the red route, let us know and we can fire out some suggestions.

But I think HDPM got it right. It's always fun to drink champagne!

11-27-2004, 02:47 AM
It's a bit late, so I will thank everyone collectively for all the excellent advice, web links, and posts. Very much appreciated. I have some searching and buying to do of various wines and Champagnes and it looks to be a fun undertaking.

Iíll salute all when consuming a chunk of smoked salmon dipped in fondue and swishing it down with Champagne or a Chardonnay or a..... etc.