Tis the Season for festive entertaining. With so many wonderful wines available to us all, it’s sometimes hard to decide what to get and what to serve it with. And often we tend to stick with the same varietals. I recently visited Rob Petz of Old Greenwich Fine Wines and Cheese to pick his brain on this matter, and to see what he would suggest that would be slightly different or unexpected. He selected 6 wines from light to full-bodied that will perfectly accompany all your petite dishes from seafood to tenderloin.
We started off with the Col Mesian Nove Spumante Rose Brut. At just $12.99 a bottle, you’ll find yourself with a soft, creamy, dry, strawberry, effervescent wine that pairs beautifully with shrimp cocktail – the sweetness of the meat with the dry creaminess complement each other perfectly. This also pairs well with oysters and mignonette or cocktail sauce. But Petz warns, that if you’re a purist and prefer your oysters plain or just with a little bit of lemon you’re better off with something slightly drier.
Next he showed me the Jean Claude Fromont, Macon Villages Chardonnay 2012 which for $14.99 is an absolute deal. Petz calls this “one of the greatest party whites ever.” That’s a strong statement and he stands behind it proudly. Macon Villages wines are village level wines with fruit sourced from Burgundy. This wine is a great oak Chardonnay that is creamy and due to the higher mineral content is less buttery than a Californian Chardonnay. This wine pairs well with lighter appetizers such as seafood and oysters, fun and creative appetizers and finger foods like a coconut chicken.
The Von Winning Riesling 2012 is one of his most popular wines. At $19.99 this craft Riesling hails from a house that makes 46 different cuvees. The body and the acidity in this wine balances out any sugar you traditionally get from a Riesling, and it has a mildly sweet and mellow flavor from the classic orchard fruits like peaches and pears. The creaminess, acidity and the classic Riesling flavor pair absolutely fantastically with mild cheeses, any kind of white meat, mini quiche, and cranberry sauce.
The Vincente Sauvestre Savigny les Beaune is made in a commune in Red Burgundy that is lesser known, so at $24.99 this Pinot Noir is a great value. According to Petz it also has a great ability to match with many different foods, and fans of Bourgogne Rouge and meatier styles of Pinot Noir will love this wine. This wine can be enjoyed all on its own, while cooking dinner, but is also a great appetizer wine… Because of the acidity level this wine pairs well with foods that tend to be harder to pair with like asparagus and tomatoes. To successfully match a wine, you must successfully match the acidity level. This wine also complements fish dishes and leftover turkey sandwiches.
Petz is also a great fan of the Columbia Valley L’Ecole Merlot and believes that at $29.99 it is one of the best values in America. This wine pairs wonderfully with richer cheeses like blue cheese, sliders, tenderloin, bold charcuterie meats like salumi and chorizo.
Rounding out our selection we have the Withers Ruben Sierra Foothills Mourvedre Syrah. Petz calls this “As crafty and dorky a wine as you can get." This blend has the ability to offer a palate of aromas like those found in high-end Rhone and will present them one at a time as the wine warms in the glass. Rob continues, "This is the find of the year for us at Old Greenwich Fine Wines & Cheese and is absolutely fantastic." It’s rich, slightly fruity and slightly peppery and because of this you would serve it with a “clean” filet mignon seasoned with just salt and pepper, richer chicken dishes, chicken and mushrooms, crispy pommes frites, mushroom quiche, and anything fried. At $39.99 this wine is worth every penny.
Old Greenwich Fine Wines and Cheese
195 Sound Beach Avenue; (203) 990-3030