Don't delay, or you'll miss out on Champagne bargains
Merry Christmas, 2013!
Enjoy the day's festivities. But resolve, starting tomorrow, to complete your wine shopping for New Year's celebrations as soon as possible.
At last check, PLCB shelves remained well-stocked with wines to fit every taste. Inventories will, however, deplete quickly as wild-eyed, wine-seeking consumers grow increasing desperate for a last-minute bottle.
Don't be one of them. Get going and try the following nifty buys:
PLCB French wine buyer, Jennifer Brown, previously worked with Champagne Henriot as well as Martine Saunier, the famed importer of Henri Jayer, Lalou Bize-Leroy and Château Rayas. Through hard experience, Brown has the savoir-faire and industry contacts required to unearth terrific French wine values.
This year, Brown worked her magic — and PLCB buying leverage — to deliver tremendous deals on authentic French Champagnes. Say what you will about the PLCB's myriad shortcomings, but ask yourself where but Pennsylvania can you scoop up terrific Champagnes for less than $35?
For your New Year's Eve celebrations, try the tasty NV Champagne Moutard Père et Fils Rosé de Cuvaison Brut, France (Luxury 48007; $29.99). The domaine's vineyards lie in Champagne's most southern Côte des Bar region, just over the border from Chablis in Burgundy. Pinot noir does well in the cool climate covering clay and limestone-rich soils.
Traditionally, the region's growers sold grapes to more famous négociant merchants who used the fruit for blending with northern Champagne's chardonnay dominated wines. But Côte des Bar wine growers such as François Moutard have grown increasingly confident of bottling their own fine wines while building the region's international reputation.
This tasty wine's fine beads of bubbles lace the dark-salmon color. Berry, honeysuckle and spice aromas open to fruity red-berry and citrus flavors. Fresh acidity carries through the clean and dry, yet frothy, finish. Recommended.
The N.V. Champagne Le Mesnil Blanc de Blancs Grand Cru, France (Luxury 39622; $32.99) provides another terrific sparkling offering.
The wine comes from a cooperative with over 500 grower-members who cultivate vines in the heart of Champagne's famous Côte des Blancs , a sub-region known for its incomparable chardonnay grapes.
Traditionally, much of the cooperative's Grand Cru grape production found its way into famous “premium” Champagnes made by the likes of Moët & Chandon, Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin and Taittinger. Increasingly, under Gilles Marguet's expert leadership, the cooperative has vinified, aged and bottled its own outstanding Champagnes.
This tasty wine's golden color offers persistent, fine beads luring the nose to ripe-apple and freshly baked-bread aromas. Citrus and pear flavors lead to rich creaminess and yeasty notes balanced with refreshing, clean acidity. Round, fruity notes balance the dry finish. Highly recommended.
On New Year's Day itself, if your menu includes the traditional Alsatian sauerkraut baked with white wine, bratwurst, weisswurst, chopped apples and juniper berries, then try the tasty 2010 F. E. Trimbach Riesling, Alsace, France (6625; on sale: $14.99).
Unlike German rieslings made across the Rhine River, this wine finishes completely dry. The style derives from the Trimbach family's tradition of making wines in Alsace since 1626. Today, the 13th generation of Trimbach winegrowers manages the firm from Ribeauvillé, a picturesque village of half-timbered houses.
The wine's grapefruit, lime and apple aromas unfurl with beguiling floral notes. Crisp red grapefruit and apple flavors balance with zesty acidity and smoky mineral notes through the dry, yet fruity, finish. Highly recommended.
With beef and lamb dishes, try the delicious 2011 Domaine de Fontsainte, Corbières, France (46985; $13.99). When you find an imported wine by noted wine merchant Kermit Lynch since the late 1970s, you're on to something good.
The wine blends carignan, grenache noir and syrah grown in silica, clay and limestone soils in the highly regarded Boutenac subregion. The vines sprawl on south-facing slopes providing plenty of sunshine and protection from biting north winds.
The nearby Mediterranean Sea's cool breezes lower nighttime temperatures to ensure slow, even ripening. The grapes retain freshness to balance the rich, ripe flavors.
The dark-ruby color that offers robust, dark-fruity flavors with meaty notes balance with refreshing acidity, soft tannins and a dry finish. Highly recommended.
Dave DeSimone writes about wine for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Steelers stalled by Seahawks, on outside of AFC wild-card picture
- Steelers’ Roethlisberger reported symptoms that led to his exit vs. Seahawks
- Rossi: It’s past time for NFL to protect players
- Fox Chapel grad VIllani performing magic for Wizards
- Steelers players say they support Tomlin’s attempts at deception
- Steelers notebook: Seahawks’ Sherman gets better of WR Brown
- Sports Deli is latest tenant to say goodbye to Parkway Center Mall
- Week 12 — Steelers-Seahawks gameday grades
- Family of man accused of shooting St. Clair officer say allegations don’t fit his character
- Pennsylvania Game Commission reaps revenue from shale gas under game lands
- Package thefts can be prevented, police, experts say