casa del vino

Where wine is on the table everyday

Day 116: Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh . . .

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Christmas 2012So, here we are at the end of another Christmas Day.  We must admit, this one makes the Top Ten list for us.  Not only were we blessed to have Daughter #1 and Daughter #2 here with us, we had Brian’s mom (aka Grams) under our roof for the past couple of days.  This was the first time in a long, long time that we had others with us on Christmas morning to share our quirky traditions.  It takes a special person to understand why the cars (as in the vehicles parked outside the house that we drive to work daily) give each daughter a calendar and have done so for as far back as we can remember, or how the dogs are able to make it to the store and pick out gifts for everyone in the family – including Grams.  Boy, oh boy, those are some smart hounds – even get sizes correct!

An added bonus for today was the early afternoon arrival of Jean’s dad (aka Bill), Jean’s sister Mary and her husband Tom (for the record they all also got gifts from those crazy dogs of ours).  They ventured through Austin and arrived safe and sound in our neck of the woods.  So – the day was by all means – a home run!  Brian battled the winds, but managed to produce some yummy smoked ribs, pork tenderloin and shrimp on the barbie and Daughters whipped up a green bean casserole.  If you went away hungry tonight – it was your own fault.

As with any feast and celebration – today we celebrated Jesus’ Birthday – there’s never a better reason to roll out some of our best wines.  We went into the wine fridge and pulled out a couple of seriously delicious wines.  With eight people in the house, we wanted to start things off light, we opened a 2009 Dry Creek  Fume Sauvignon Blanc . . . crispy, fruity and very clean, this wine was perfect with the variety of cheeses and crackers put out for snacking.  It’s rich in lemon, lime and pineapple flavors, with intense, zesty acidity for balance, and the finish was spicy.  A perfect way to begin our dinner celebration.  This was followed by an amazing 2009 Sea Smoke “Ten” Pinot Noir.  Now, earlier this year, we blogged about the Sea Smoke Southing Pinot Noir, and this wine is it’s bigger cousin.  We commented back then that it was much bigger than your ‘typical’ Pinot, and this ‘Ten’ is in our book, well, at 10!  Consistently rated in the lower to mid-90’s, the 2009 Sea Smoke Ten begins with notes of chocolate cake, dried blueberry and lavender, then cassis and dusty black berries.  Firm, mature tannins are followed by a long, velvety finish. We couldn’t have picked a better wine, and as a beginning to our smoked ribs and pork loin, it was delicious.  It was our second phenomenal wine to enjoy for Christmas.

Finally, we had opened our 2008 Bodegas El Nido “Clio “Jumilla from Spain.  This has been laying down in our fridge for a couple of years, and Christmas with family in the house seemed the perfect time to break it out!  We decantered it for an hour before serving and the air time made a great wine even better!  This wine scores 94 points Robert Parker’s scale.  We’ve had Clio before, but wanted to know more about it and discovered that the 2008 Clio is made up of 70% old vine Monastrell sourced from a vineyard planted in 1944 and 30% Cabernet Sauvignon from a vineyard planted in 1979.  Fermented in oak followed by malolactic fermentation in new barrels and aging for 24 months in new French and American oak.  A rich deep purple color caught our eye and it gave us a “wow” nose of earth, blueberry, and blackberry fruit leading to a full bodied, juicy wine with great savory flavors, and a lengthy finish – we really didn’t want the bottle to be empty, but alas it was.  What we can tell you is that this was a scrumptious bottle of wine befitting a celebration as big as Christmas!

Each member of our family was able to taste and compare their tastes and aromas on all three wines which was both fun and interesting to hear differing viewpoints . . .  yet another great reason to enjoy great wine!  We aren’t always “wise”, but when it comes to history, we know that Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh were pretty special gifts.

While the food was an integral part of today’s wine sampling, each of the can stand firmly on their own.  Some wines are just better with food.  And, as Christmas 2012 comes to an end and we look ahead to “After Christmas Sales” and “Year-End Blowout Sales”, it’s nice to know that there are good reasons to enjoy good wine.

We hope you had a very Merry Christmas, and remember to enjoy your favorite wine responsibly and recycle whenever possible.

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