Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Thanksgiving is upon us...

I can't tell you how many phone calls I've received this morning asking for recommendations on what to buy for the holiday dinner. And that -- is a great thing.

The best advice I can give you is to have fun with whatever your drinking; and the most important thing to keep in mind, is not buy a wine that will overpower what you are eating. Basically, that means if Turkey is on the menu (as it most generally is!), than you want to avoid big and heavy red wines, or exceptionally dry and/or heavy white ones.

If your holiday turkey menu features sweet side dishes such as glazed carrots or marshmallow-topped sweet potatoes, you could choose a white wine with similar sweetness, such as a chenin blanc or gewurztraminer. If your menu items are savory, you can lean toward a Johannisberg riesling, savignon blanc, or even a light, fruity chardonnay. If your bird boasts a spicy sausage stuffing, sip a Beaujolais (Nouveau is the rage for today) or lightly chilled pinot noir. (Though I personally do not care for my red wine chilled, at all.)

Think out of the box a bit... don't be afraid to play. A great pairing for Turkey is champagne. You can feel decadent and fancy while drinking a deliciously light and fruity one; Rose champagne is a perfect compliment -- and looks pretty in the glass, for those who are into aesthetics, right down down to the bubbles.

If you don't want to break the bank with the champagne, then I'd wholly suggest buying it's Italian cousin: Prosecco. Light, fruity and inexpensive - Prosecco will dress up any meal and it's very food friendly.

I mentioned a Johannisburg Riesling, but if you want to be a red wine drinker and stray from the traditional Pinot & Beaujolais - then I'd recommend a South African Merlot or Cabernet (avoid a Shiraz blend -- too spicy!). South African wine is bright, fruit forward and not so heavy that it would detract from the food you are eating.

If you're in town today -- please don't hesitate to stop in and ask for assistance with your holiday gift giving or meal pairing selections. Gene is there all day and night -- and will be more than happy to assist you. He's worked very hard to ensure that we have an outstanding inventory that is able to please even the most discriminating wine enthusiast.

From our family to yours....have a lovely holiday.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Looking to try something new?

Have you given South Africa a try yet?

Relatively still "new kids" on the wine block (at least in the minds of consumers) -- South Africa has quickly become the hottest trend in wine since Australia.

Pinotage is their signature grape -- and it's one of those varietals that to know it -- is to love it. I personally love a good Pinotage, however I do think it's something that there is no middle ground on; either you like Pinotage or you don't. It's one of the most interesting and different styles I've had and the best way I can describe it for you, is that if you have a good glass of it -- it will dance on your tongue.

But if you aren't feeling adventurous enough to take the chance, then feel free to stick to their traditional styles of wine. Inexpensive and delicious, South African wines are great for those who don't care for dry, or Old World style of wine. The varietals tend to be very bright, vibrant and fruit forward - without too much tannic aftertaste or acidity.

My personal favorites are from the Graham Beck vineyard, and the two I'll share with you are these: the Chenin Blanc is really nicely balanced with a ton of tropical fruits and crispness; and the Shiraz/Cabernet blend is absolutely delicious. The best part of that one is that it's casked in both steel and oak, so there's this great fruity taste with warm tones of chocolate and the spice you'd expect from a Shiraz.

So if you have the opportunity, give South Africa a swirl. You won't be disappointed.
Let us know what you think!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

We're on Facebook!

If you have a Facebook account, and would like to participate in our online discussion board - log in and search the groups for "Beacon Hill Wine & Spirits".

Join in on the fun!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Getting married? Buying a new home? Engaged?

We're offering an opportunity for you to register and post your champagne, wine and spirits selections for your friends and family to be able to see... and purchase for you!

What's the best thing about registering for your wine rack? Duplicates are always a pleasant surprise, and something you're counting on!

That special day is coming up...whether it's your wedding, your anniversary -- or the housewarming party for your new home. Often you register your wish list at stores that sell dishes and glassware -- why not register your wine rack as well?

Email, or call to make an appointment for recommendations if you are in need of assistance with your selections. We'll then post your names, your photos (if you wish) the date of your event -- and your selections on line for your guests to review. Registering your wine selections is a unique way to start stocking your wine rack or bar!

For more information, or if you have any questions, please don't hesitate to call or email.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

More cheese, please!

I don't know about you - but I love cheese.
Love, love, LOVE cheese.
As a matter of fact, next to peanut butter -- cheese is an addiction of mine.

That is partly the reason why when we open a second location -- we will have cheese incorporated as a staple. It will not only feed my obsession -- but it complements wine so perfectly.

We all have our favorites -- just as with wine; but also like wine, the more we sample the more we enjoy - the longer our list of "favorites" becomes. My "favorite" cheese is the Parrano Rubosto; a Dutch cheese that is a cousin to Gouda, but who tastes like an outstanding Parmigiano Reggiano.

White wines hardly ever clash with cheese, whether they are mild or strong - soft or firm. Dry whites pair well with soft textured cheeses, espedially those with mild flavors such as Brie. Whites with a crisp acidity go well with acidic goat cheeses. For an experiment, try pairing a softer Chardonnay from Sonoma with cheeses such as a triple cream Brie, Brunet, Valencay or Hoch Ybrig.

Red wines tend to match best with firm mellow cheeses. Although hard cow's milk cheeses do well with red wines as well. Try sampling a typical California style Cabernet Sauvignon with a variety of cheese such as a Dry Jack, Marisa, Manchego -- or my favorite, the Parrano.

Next time...what to pair with Ports and Sweet Wine.