Red, White and Bubbly

Posted on January 27, 2012


Organic Chicken soup is on the menu tonight and I am not sure if our guests lean toward red or white wines and I think an evening with friends starts off well with a few bubbles, but I don’t know if they like bubbles, so I am leaving our options open. Here are the wines I have picked as possibilities:


Belle Pente 2009 Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

I first tried wine from Belle Pente based on the recommendation of Portland based Storyteller Wine Co. proprietor, Michael Alberty. I marveled at the beauty and subtlety of the wine and agreed with Alberty’s assessment, “It’s a very pretty wine,” and wish I could remember the vineyard designation. The Willamette Valley Pinot Noir is referred to as the “basic bottling” by the vintners, but for its price point of $20, it does not disappoint.


Nikolaihof 2009 Hefeabzug Grüner Veltliner Wachau

Grüner Veltliner is supposed to be the wine that pairs well with any vegetables that are difficult to pair with wines, such as asparagus, broccoli, and artichokes. However, I feel it is an all around versatile and pleasant wine to drink. I found this wine because it was recommended by Alice Feiring in her book Naked Wine: Letting Grapes Do What Comes Naturally. Feiring is also author of the book The Battle For Wine and Love or How I Saved the World from Parkerization. I have learned a lot about natural wines from reading her work and have tried some wonderful wines based on her recommendations. I really feel that her perspective has added another dimension to how I assess and experience wines. The Nikolaihof Wachau is a Terry Thiese Estate Selection and is certified bio-dynamic.


La Dilettante NV Vouvray Brut Loire Valley Sparkling White Wine

This wine satisfies in the way that a Champagne does, but without the steep price-tag. Catherine and Pierre Breton are also listed in Feiring’s natural wine recommendations and also make still red and white wines. Their wines are part of Kermit Lynch’s portfolio. Kermit Lynch Wine Merchant is an import company, named for the man, whose wines I seek out.

I think that whichever wines we go with tonight, all have something to offer to the meal and our guests.