No sooner is the Thanksgiving Day table cleared than holiday party planning begins.
For a casual group party, buying white and red wines can be expensive. In today’s market, the sweet spot for value is between $13 and $20; here you’ll find wines with individuality, tradition and style. Below $13 the wine is likely to be a manufactured beverage.
The Filomusi Guelfi wine estate is in southern Italy’s Abruzzo region; family-owned since the 18th century, Lorenzo Filomusi Guelfi inherited it in 1982.
The young, talented winemaker Lorenzo Costantini produced the ruby-colored2012 Filomusi Guelfi Montepulciano d’Abruzzo that’s erupting with black pepper, black olive and black cherry scents. Its medium body is clothed in blackberry and herbal flavors stitched with integrated tannins that are soft, but not meek.
Enjoy the 2012 Filomusi Guelfi Montepulciano d’Abruzzo with pizza, grilled chicken and flank steak; it retails for about $17.
The 2009 Rioja Bordon Reserva is produced by Bodegas Franco-Espanolas, founded in 1890 by French and Spanish winemakers. Today it is owned by the Spanish Eguizabal family.
Elegant tobacco, black tea and black fruit aromas drift from the glass of the 2009 Rioja Bordon Reserva, and its lingering red plum and oregano flavors are braided with supple tannins. Serve it with chorizo, salami, roasted pork or lamb.
The 2009 Rioja Bordon Reserva retails for a modest $17.
In 1986, Neil Ellis left the South African corporate wine world and founded his negociant wine business. Seven years later, he partnered with winemaker Hans Schroder, and the duo consistently produced tasty, well-made wines. In 2006, Ellis’ son Warren– with university degrees in viticulture and oenology– became the winemaker.
Neil Ellis Wines buys sauvignon blanc grapes from Alex Versveld’s Groenekloof vineyard. At 1,000 feet above sea level, and receiving the southern Atlantic cool winds, the sauvignon blanc grapes develop pronounced aromas and flavors from their gradual ripening.
The 2015 Neil Ellis Groenekloof Sauvignon Blanc emits pungent lime and lemon thyme aromas. Citrus fruit flavors are underscored with thyme, and the vineyard’s minerality appears in the finish. It’s a perfect wine for spicy foods.
The 2015 Neil Ellis Groenekloof Sauvignon Blanc is about $16.
Riax Baixas (pronounced REE-ahs BUY-shuss) is nearly a pure white wine zone in the Galicia region of northwestern Spain. Bordering the Atlantic Ocean, the albarino grape rules in this damp, rainy appellation.
Bodegas Terras Gauda was founded in 1990; it produced the 100 percent albarino2014 Terras Gauda Abadia de San Campio. Using natural yeasts from the vineyard, the grapes were fermented in stainless-steel tanks, then aged a few months and bottled.
This straightforward approach captured albarino’s lively citrus flavor and acidity; a fennel-like aroma and flavor is intertwined, giving the 2014 Terras Gauda Abadia de San Campio a pleasant complexity. I noticed a residual sugar aspect– which some will like as a counterpoint to albarino’s tart personality.
Serve the 2014 Terras Gauda Abadia de San Campio with shell fish and shrimp cocktail. It retails for about $18.
Follow John Foy on Twitter @JLFOY2