What I’ve Been Drinking of Late, Part 15

Deep, dark ruby and slightly fizzy in the glass, this Lambrusco is made for celebrations.
Deep, dark ruby and slightly fizzy in the glass, this Lambrusco is made for celebrations.

Lot 841 Cameron Hughes Reggio Emilia Lambrusco

A red wine that you drink chilled? Yes, indeed, that’s the case with Lot 841 Cameron Hughes Reggio Emilia Lambrusco ($15).

Lambrusco is an ancient Northern Italian grape dating back to the time of the Etruscans. It can be cloying, but thankfully this sample bottle leans drier yet with still ripe jammy fruitiness. Deep, dark ruby in the glass with a touch of viscosity on the palate, the wine is mildly fizzy, too.

It sports notes of candied raspberries, cranberries, black tea, and almost grape lollipop. It is an easy-drinking red wine with mild tannins that would be ideal for folks who normally shy away from reds. It’s almost like a more rugged, heftier Beaujolais Nouveau.

Find it on the Cameron Hughes site.

Cheers: Serving Cornish game hens, pheasant or porchetta for the holidays? This would pair well and please many palates.

Steenberg Sparkling Sauvignon Blanc

For fun, delicious and affordable alternative to Champagne for New Year’s Eve, look to South Africa’s zippy Steenberg Sparkling Sauvignon Blanc ($16).

A lively tasting way to usher in a new year.
A lively tasting way to usher in a new year.

With the fragrance of melon and citrus, this is like summer in a bottle.

It’s tangier and less yeasty on the palate than more classic sparkling wines. Instead, it’s full of racy lemon, pineapple and guava, all accentuated by lively effervescence.

Pick it up at Saratoga Wines, and Wine Chateau.

Cheers: Toast guests with glasses of this bubbly alongside noshes of goat cheese or crab salad canapes, and you’ll immediately be in a celebratory mood.

2019 Post & Beam Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

I’ve long been a fan of Far Niente’s Family of Wineries, from its elegantly crafted wines to its gracious hospitality to its winery architecture that celebrates Napa Valley’s humble agrarian roots.

It’s newest release from its Post & Beam winery, the 2019 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon ($50), of which I received a sample, is a true pleasure to linger over, as well.

A Cab that's so smooth and so divine that you can't get enough of it.
A Cab that’s so smooth and so divine that you can’t get enough of it.

Uncork it, take a whiff, and feel as if you’re strolling through the woods with its aroma of bramble and earth. It is full of dark cherry, dark plum, and raspberry with a hint of both cloves and graphite. This is one very smooth sip.

It’s sold out at the winery, but you can lay your hands on a bottle at Total Wine & More, Wine.com, and Bounty Hunter.

Cheers: If prime rib is on the menu or USDA prime steak or better yet prime steak with seared foie gras on top, this is the wine you want alongside.

2018 La Crema Pinot Noir

With rugged hillsides that get cooled by ocean breezes and fog, the Sonoma Coast has long been considered a prime region for the best Pinot Noir grapes.

No wonder La Crema considers its Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir its signature wine.

The 2018 La Crema Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir, of which I received a sample, is fruit-forward with a strong backbone of earthiness.

A Pinot Noir that tastes more expensive than it is.
A Pinot Noir that tastes more expensive than it is.

Think pomegranate, plum, juicy blackberries, and violet candy with a touch of vanilla.

This is a lush, full-tasting Pinot that offers a lot of bang for the buck for $20 or less. Find it at Vivino, BuyWinesOnline, and Wine.com.

Cheers: Enjoy with roast duck, roast pork, veal or quail, especially if it’s glazed with a lush, dark berry-infused sauce.

More: What I’ve Been Drinking of Late, Part 12

And: What I’ve Been Drinking of Late, Part 13

And: What I’ve Been Drinking of Late, Part 14

And: What I’ve Been Drinking of Late, Part 16

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