Belated Holiday Wine Highlights: My Top 3!

Silly, really, that it’s already the 14th of January, 2012, and I’m only just now getting to this post. But as I’m still reasonably certain the concerns of Y2K and Enron were in fact front and center only a few years ago, I guess it’s not too surprising.

Anyhow, I’d like to run down for you my three favorite wines from the various and sundry holiday dining experiences I was fortunate to enjoy.

First on the list? The 2002 Ridge Vineyards Nervo.

We had this during one of the many buffet-style indulgences that were laid out on our myriad holiday tables, and it was absolutely perfect with the various cheeses, spreads, breads, dips, salads, and other such niceties that adorned the counters. It’s got structure, spice, and herbaceousness to spare, and the low-yielding old vines offered a concentration that, while softened with bottle age, was still integral to the flavor profile. It was particularly delightful with a robust beet and goat cheese salad heavily speckled with fresh ground pepper.

Next on the list? A true legend, the 1984 Ridge Vineyards Monte Bello.

And yes, that is a water pitcher masquerading as a decanter. Extraordinary times beget extraordinary wines, and extraordinary need begets extraordinary measures. So yes, I did indeed decant this wine into a glass water pitcher. And it was delicious! As to pairing? The only thing this wine paired with was our collective palates. No food, just the ’84. Heaven.

But the real star of the show? The breakout hit? The surprise hero? The dark horse, the miracle, the magician?

That’s right, the 1995 Ridge Vineyards York Creek! It was tremendous! I mean, just look at that cork!

I was under strict instructions not to cook the main holiday dinner this year, but I couldn’t resist making a mushroom gravy, which turned out to be fortunate, as gravy would have been the one thing we would have been short on (my people DIG gravy!), and I have to say, the 95 York Creek with a rich, umami-laden mushroom gravy? Happy Holidays indeed.

And so, what were YOUR top 3 wine tasting experiences from the holidays? Enquiring minds want to know!

Categories: Cabernet Sauvignon, Events, Food & Wine Pairing, Monte Bello, Tasting Notes, Varietals & Blends, Wine & Food Pairing, Zinfandel

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1 reply

  1. Well, yes, we did indulge over the holidays. Gosh, was it really three weeks ago?
    Yes, Ridge did feature, of course. In no particular order of consumpion ….. 2008 Chardonnay & a 2002 Lytton Springs with the main meal on the 25tth. Then came a party on the 26th (which we call Boxing Day and ios also a holiday) where we took some of our favourite – and exotic – smaller bottles. The highlight was the Geyserville Essence. Magnificent with soft blue veined cheese and, drat and double drat, I am now left with only two. Cue the auto reorder button – it is still available!!

    ((If readers the UK want to get in touch to meet up and compare notes …….. contact me at

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