To ring in the new year we had a couple of friends over and decided to open the Horton Sparkling Viognier. We visited Horton Vineyards in the summer and enjoyed a good handful of their wines but were very pleased with the Sparkling Viognier. We got a bottle and saved it for the new year. It was bottled in 2004. Very dry champagne-style sparkling wine with tropical flavors; quite bubbly and was very satisfying at midnight on New Years’ Eve. We used the remainder to make mimosas for breakfast. Yummy bubbly!!
Earlier this evening we had a holiday dinner party with a few friends. Warren created a wonderful dinner and selected some delicious wines with each course.
With appetizers: Gray Ghost Chardonnay—very lightly oaked with lots of apple and pear flavors. Very good sipper that complements light cheeses and fruit.
1st course: Corn Chowder with goat cheese toast paired with the Gray Ghost Reserve Chardonnay. Creamy texture with this Chardonnay; more oak with buttery taste. Lots of fruit despite the heavier oak; longer finish than the first Chardonnay.
2nd course: Wilted Red Cabbage with Shrimp and Spicy Tangerine Dressing paired with Rene Mure Gerwurztraminer (2003). Off Dry wine with tropical fruit characteristics—ginger, pineapple, and spices. Very aromatic wine that hints at sweetness but actually rather dry finish.
Main course: Pork Roulade; Green beans topped with carmelized onions and prunes; Mashed sweet potatoes paired with the Barboursville Reserve Cabernet Franc (2002)—lots of raspberries and plums with hints of pepper and vanilla. Pepper/oak aromas as well. Well rounded wine with a longer finish.
Dessert: Pecan Pie with vanilla ice cream paired with Gray Ghost Adieu (2004)—proclaimed best wine east of California. Smooth dessert wine with apricot and peach flavors. Honey-like texture; always a crowd pleaser and a nice way to end a meal with friends.
We had a wonderful Thanksgiving dinner. There was plenty of food and delicious wines with each course. Here are the wines we had with dinner and what we paired them with:
Windham Fume Blanc: with appetizers: very crisp wine with nice tropical fruit characters; nice sipper or could pair with a seafood dish.
Butternut Squash soup with Willowcroft Traminette: dry white wine with spicy aroma; dried apricot and pineapple flavors. I would think that this would also pair with glazed ham.
Harvest Salad with Tarara Pinto Gris: very crisp and clean white wine; stainless steel fermented; citrus aroma and taste.
Turkey and dressing with cranberry relish; green beans with carmelized onions; mashed sweet potatoes paired with Gray Ghost Cabernet Franc: Dry, peppery red aged in French oak. Lots of raspberries. This one has been written up in the Washingtonian as a holiday favorite.