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!