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Michael Reyes of The Wine Club shared with us his top recommendations for good, affordable wines that you can bring to parties and Noche Buena this Christmas season.  

Affordable Good Wines

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The Wine Club exclusively distributes wines mostly from the Napa, Sonoma, and California Regions, as well as some French wines.

 

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1. Michel Olivier Rose Cremant de Limoux Sparkling Wine 2011 (P1,390) 

This elegant and refreshing light Salmon colored wine comes from the oldest sparkling wine region of France, the Languedoc, where the monks of Saint-Hilaire started making sparkling wine in 1531, a lot earlier than in Champagne. A great aperitif to start the Holiday Feast and ring in the New Year.

Tasting Notes: A wonderful, refreshing sparkling wine with an attractive light pink color, with notes of rose petals and citrus

 

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2. Ca Momi Napa Valley Chardonnay (P1,150 per bottle)

With a popular Christmas starter like smoked salmon, a medium bodied dish with unique smoked fish flavors and an oily texture, a lightly oaked Chardonnay high in acidity would do this job admirably. 

Michael’s Notes:

Origin
• Wonderful Chardonnay from Ca’ Momi Vineyards from the Carneros region of Napa Valley, a prime area for growing Chardonnay grapes.
• Made by two Italian gentlemen from the Venice area who came to California about ten (10) years ago and fell in love with the place. They have put their winemaking skills from the Old World to make wine from the New World. 

Tasting Notes
• Nice bright acidity but it’s balanced enough that it’s quite buttery.
• A lot of right apples, hints of citrus, a little pineapple there with tropical notes.
• Eminently drinkable, it’s very juicy, it’s very quaffable.

Pairing
• Pairs well with creamy sauces like a nice carbonara, creamy pasta dish, or wonderful chicken dish.
• Perfect for Smoked Salmon or Seafood Canapés or Shrimp

 

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3. Shannon Ridge Zinfandel (P960 per bottle)

America’s favorite wine, Zinfandel, pairs nicely with baked, smoked or honeyed Ham, with its extracted character of raspberry and blackberry, and notes of pie spice, clove and anise.

Michael’s Notes:

About Zinfandel
• They call it America’s heritage grape because it’s so widely and planted in California.
• The grape is originally from Croatia and Italy brought in the early 1800s.
• It’s America’s party wine because it’s used for barbecues, pizza parties, and burgers.

Tasting Notes
• Versatile, friendly and very drinkable.
• Very fruity, it’s slightly spicy and it got fairly low tannins.

Pairing
• Recommended for any ham preparation like baked ham, smoked ham or salted Chinese ham

 

The Wine Club - Esser

4. Esser Monterey Merlot (P950 per bottle)

This seductive red wine is smooth and savory, with a nose that reels you in with aromas of earth, tobacco, boysenberries, and smoke. The perfect accompaniment to roast duck or an herb-tinged rack of lamb.

Michael’s Notes:

No need for Cork
• If a wine is to be consumed in the first 2 to 4 years of bottling, then a cork is not that important.
• What the cork does is when you age the wine for long periods of time, and you lay it up on its side.
• The cork is a little porous, so it allows oxygen to come in and makes the wine breathe a little bit and helps in the evolution and aging process of wine. 

About Merlot
• Merlot as a varietal got a bad reputation from the movie Sideways. 
• It’s more feminine than a big, brawny cabernet sauvignon.
• Merlot is a little more accessible, a little more balanced, mouthfeel is a little fleshier.
• Typically likes cooler weather, so it has notes of green pepper or herbaceous quality to it.

Pairing:
• It’s a great pairing for duck and a rack of lamb because of its herbal components.

Tasting Notes:
• Nice cherry notes and the smell of herbs

 

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5. Cartlidge & Browne Cabernet Sauvignon (P1,040 per bottle)

A big, bold red from the North Coast of California, this King of wines will bring out the best in your Prime Rib or Roast Beef.

Michael’s Notes:

Tasting Notes
• Chocolate notes, black currants

Pairing
• The only red wine that can withstand a dessert like chocolate cake because it’s big and bold and got some components that compliment with the cake.

 

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6. Cline Sonoma Pinot Noir (P1,040 per bottle)

Hands-down the top red wine pick for roast turkey and savory sides, this silky wine from California’s Pinot Noir mecca, Sonoma, displays a satin texture that is juicy with ripe raspberry fruit kissed with a hint of rose petal.

Michael’s Notes:

Pairing
• Pinot Noir is the best pairing for roast turkey.
• It compliments the sides in particular with cranberry sources, chestnuts puree, and the stuffing
• Turkey is not the most flavorful bird in the world, so you need something to brighten it up, and this wine gives you a nice pop in the mouth when it’s paired with turkey

 

Premium Wines

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These are the premium wines you’ll buy for a special someone, a very important person, or for that milestone celebration.  

 

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Caymus Vineyards

A 3-generation Winery run by the Wagner Family, Caymus is known for its big, full flavored, full bodied Cabernets (the Napa Valley and the Special Selection), the latter brings the only wine named Winery of the Year by Wine Spectator more than once).

Caymus also makes two affordable red and white blends under their Conundrum label.

 

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Duckhorn Vineyards

This is another prestigious brand with a solid reputation for producing some of the best Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon in the Napa Valley.

A sister winery, Goldeneye, located in the Anderson Valley, makes sumptuous and captivating Pinot Noirs–the Goldeneye and Migration.

 

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Shafer Vineyards

Situated in the highly regarded Stags Leap District of Napa Valley, noted wine critic Robert Parker, has high praise for this winery calling it the most consistent producer of world-class Cabernet Sauvignon in the Napa Valley.

Also known for its wonderful Merlot, Chardonnay and the cult wine Hillside Select, which has received 4 perfect 100 point scores from Mr. Parker since 2000.

 

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The Wine Club
101 Aguirre Street, Ground Floor, Cacho- Gonzales Building, Legaspi Village, Makati
Contact: Mike Reyes, General Manager
Telephone: +632 893-7784
Mobile: +63 917-818-0439

 

Live an Awesome Life,

Anton

Founder, www.OurAwesomePlanet.com  

Disclosure: This post is a collaboration with The Wine Club. I wrote this article with my biases, opinions, and insights. 

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