Bitto and Cellar closed on Christmas Eve and Day

Bitto and the Orchard Wine Cellar will be closing early (3pm) on Christmas Eve and will also be closed Christsmas day to give staff time with their families. But we are all shopping for wine today! So many wines work with traditional holiday fare, and here are just a few.

The Avinjo Vintage Reserva Cava makes it into any list I ever do. Served at my own wedding, this cava over delivers on every level. This is the bottle to open as you start peeling sweet potatoes and turn up the music. Some cavas get a bit appley and carry an little mustiness, this one is perfectly balanced with bright acidity. It keeps your palate tuned for tasting and cooking all day long. Another bubbly we love is the St. Hilaire Blanquette di Limoux, made in the south-west of France from Mauzac with a touch of Chard and Chenin Blanc (really!) blended in. Thomas Jefferson loved this wine, and gave it to his fellow founding fathers during this time of year. Sadly he died with 49 bottles still in his cellar, clearly he died unexpectedly!

The next three reds are all lighter body and work even better slightly chilled. The Wind Gap Soif is a carbonic macerated Valdigue, Negroamara, Dolcetto, Syrah and Mourvedre blend from CA. Fermented in concrete and clarified with egg whites in the traditional Beaujolais style, its meatier than those with bright blackberry and fresh cherry flavors with just a hint of grip at the finish. Of course Beaujolais is on the menu, and the Domaine Depeuble has been on our glass and flight list for years. Every year it seems to get better, with the current release showing unmatched depth of flavor. No added sulfites, all indigenous yeasts, no oak, just pure lovely gamay. The last one in the lineup is a rare DOC Piedmonte Rosso that features Barbera, Dolcetto and Arneis. Blending in a white with reds is common in the Rhone but I've never seen it done in this part of Italy. Its a shame as this is a beauty! The Barbera and Dolcetto bring bright red fruit with a lovely drinkable softness that's unique.

Other styles that work great with turkey are the high acid whites made from aromatic grapes. Gewurzt is classic Christmas fare, having enough body and sweetness to work with stuffing and all the trimmings yet with acid to keep your salivary system happy enough to forgive a slightly dry bird. Juicy CA reds like Zin also work with turkey and ham, just stay away from a strong oak or high tannin profiles which can dry your mouth out and turn the turkey to dust and ham to a salt lick! And while French Burgundy is always a good choice, the richer and softer CA Pinot Noirs are a safe bet to go with almost anything this time of year. 

We wish all of you a lovely Christmas filled with good friends, loving family, and delicious wine to wash them down with!

Cheers! 


Orchard Wine Cellar Movers and Shakers This Week

  • Armas de Guerra Rose

    #1 Armas de Guerra Rose

    My heavens! 50+ year old, organic Mencia vines from some of the highest vineyards in Bierzo. Subtle aromas of strawberry, pink grapefruit and white pepper play with clean river rock minerality touched by zesty key lime. Balance and finish are tied together with a vibrating acidity. Structured and executed like a world class ballerina doing flamenco. Sells out every year for good reason. Lighter than Provence, a different planet than White Zin. The only hard part is only opening one bottle at a time.
    (Holding the #1 spot)

  • Tintero Moscato

    #2 Tintero Moscato

    Sori Gramella refers to the one of the only single vineyard Moscatos, and Marco is the only producer to bottle this striking limestone amphitheater commercially. Once the 30 year old vines give up their bounty, and the grapes are harvested and pressed, they are kept in stainless steel at a low temperature to prevent fermentation until an order is received in order to provide the freshest wine possible. (behind by 32 bottles)

  • Gran Passione

    #3 Gran Passione

    From the land of Amarone comes a delicious Merlot based blend. To perfectly ripe Merlot (60%) is added juice from dried Corvina grapes ala Amarone. Rich, deep and smooth, this is a remarkable Merlot that may just change your Merlot worldview! (behind by 8 bottles)

  • Peter Adler Auslese Riesling

    #4 Peter Adler Auslese Riesling

    An amazing value for Auslese (certified ripeness) fruit from Germany's Mosel River Valley. Classic light petroleum and mineral nose yet flavor sweet and soft with hints of apricots and vanilla cake. A great German staple with pork of all kinds and cheeses from soft Brie to hard Gouda. (behind by 7 bottles)

Fun New Arrivals

  • Farm to Table

    Farm to Table

    A fun and lighter style from the cool mountains of Victoria. Aromas of fresh strawberry, cherry jam flirt with notes of forest floor a touch of peppery oak. Lively cola and raspberry flavors with vibrant acidity. Darn good value too!

  • Chateau Redortier Beaumes de Venise

    Chateau Redortier Beaumes de Venise

    Wine geeks know of Gigondas and Vacqueras that show off Grenache like no other. Bordering both is Beaumes de Venise which is known for fortified Muscat. On a steep hillside (at 1500 ft!) twin sisters Sabine and Isabelle make this earthy, spicy blend of Grenache, Syrah and Counoise. A gorgeous wine.

  • Maimai Syrah

    Maimai Syrah

    So pretty. Brings a clear nose of Gimblett Gravels terroir beneath lush soft blue and black fruit with lovely violet and lavender notes. Palate is clean, balanced and very approachable. Just a hint of the Northern Rhone's meatiness but mostly bright fruit and enough acidity to hold it in check. Maybe the best NZ Syrah out there??

  • A.D. Laws Four Grain Straight Bourbon

    A.D. Laws Four Grain Straight Bourbon

    This four grain whiskey uses a blend of rye, wheat and barley sourced from the Colorado Malting Company, and corn from Briess Malting in Wisconsin - encompassing the "mother grains" of bourbon. The whiskey ages about 3 years, all year round to capture the seasonal nuances from the ever-changing Colorado mountain air, in new, 53 gallon charred oak barrels source from Independent Stave Company.