Publisher's Note: NH, land of wine opportunity
By Jody Reese
Our cover story this week is about what wines work well for the holidays. This seems like a good excuse to share some of my favorite bottles. All these bottles are available in state.
1999 Calera Central Coast ($23) is a pinot noir from the central part of California. It’s more balanced between the fruit and alcohol than most California pinots.
2004 Ben Marco ($20), from Mendoza Valley Argentina, is 90 percent cabernet sauvignon and 10 percent merlot. It’s bold and full of fruit, but rounded with a slight oak for balance.
2004 Chateau Pesquie Les Terrasses ($12), from Rhone Valley, is smooth and fruity.
2004 Moshin Vineyard Tusi Vineyard ($17), from Dry Creek Valley in Sonoma County, Calif., is a lively, youthful pinot noir. Very much in the fruit-forward California style.
2005 Peachy Canyon Incredible Red ($13), from California’s central coast, is a surprisingly light zinfandel. It’s complex and very drinkable.
2003 Newport Riesling ($17) is crisp and dry. If you’ve tried a riesling and thought it was too sweet, this is for you. It’s perfect with spicy Asian food.
2005 Hopler Gruner Veltliner ($13), from Austria, is a well-rounded white that balances the sugar with the sharpness of citrus.
2006 Burban’s Albarinio ($14) must have that new taste scientists have discovered that gives you a satisfied feeling. This white is a cross between the best of a chardonnay and pinot gris.
2005 Claiborne & Churchill Gewürztraminer ($16) is dry in the Alsace tradition.
2006 Four Vines “Naked” Chardonnay ($12) is from the central region of California and offers a chardonnay without any of the oak or vanilla that it can be associated with. This wine is very crisp and the grape can be tasted.
Cheap, but good
Charamba Douro ($7) is a Portuguese red that finds balance despite a bit of bite. Excellent table wine with pizza.
Casal Garcia ($7) is a traditional young Portuguese white wine. It’s so young that it actually sparkles a bit. It’s light and crisp. Alcohol content on this is about half that of most wines.
Cumbrero Montecillo Rioja ($11) is a spicy Spanish red.
2004 Duo ($11) is a blend of merlot and cabernet sauvignon from Maipo Valley in Chile, one of the best places in the world to grow cabernet. This is a French-style Bordeaux where it’s common to use the merlot grape to soften the harsh flavors of cabernet.
Columbia Crest Gewürztraminer Two Vines ($7) is a bit sweeter than many of the Oregon Gewurztraminers, but for the price it offers an exceptional value.
Have trouble tracking down your favorite bottle? Call one of the independent wine merchants or one of the wine-heavy state stores. In this region, the two best stores are Nashua #69 (882-4670) and Hooksett #4 (641-5145).