Best Blogs: Waxing on Snow December 23, 2008

GJSENTINEL.COM BLOG: WINE OPENERS Waxing heavy on new snow

Posted by Dave Buchanan on Thursday, Dec. 18, at 8:40 p.m.

The wind and snow stopped about noon at my house, and for a while I was wondering if I made a mistake by not heading off early this morning for Telluride. But a friend called a bit after 1 p.m. and said he was stopped for a while on Dallas Divide by a combination of slick roads and a stuck 18-wheeler. So staying home was a good move.

This entry really does have something to do about wine, although the fact that Telluride has received more than 4 feet of snow in the last week has my mind focused less on wine and more on getting up at 5 a.m. and trying to make first ride at 8:30.

But since it’s almost Christmas, there’s still the matter of what to take to a friend’s Christmas party. The party is an afternoon gig on Christmas Day, which in many cases would mean a few drinks while watching football. Not at this house. There will be many new friends to be made, a big bowl of Champagne punch (well, actually it’s likely to be sparkling wine punch, to be oenologically correct) and a table loaded with great food.

So what do you take to a near-stranger’s house filled with more strangers and an afternoon of meals composed of who knows what sort of edibles? Now, there’s the match made in hell for you.

“Oh, just bring a bottle of wine if you want,” said the hostess tonight after yoga class. “I’ll have the punch and someone’s bringing some beers, so if you want some wine, go ahead.”

Not exactly a wholehearted endorsement for the fermented grape juice I prefer, but it opens the door to a lot of possibilities. Here’s what I’m thinking; tell me if you agree.

First, I’m going to take something I like to drink. Hey, I might be the only one drinking wine (although I doubt it, since once a bottle is opened, it does seem to disappear quickly) and so
it’s got to be something that makes me smile.

Second, I’ll take a red and white, just in case I stumble on a food match that works. She did mention having a ham and a turkey, so there’s an interesting problem right there. A zinfandel might work OK with a ham, but nothing goes with turkey.

Third, something not too expensive but drinkable. I don’t want to take a prized bottle and have someone slug it down with 7-Up. And nothing too complex or big and certainly nothing with too much oak.

I’m thinking of a pinot noir or a cru Beaujolais, or maybe a medium-bodied Barbera.

Decisions, decisions. The whites are a bit easier, with riesling heading the short list that includes, umm, viognier and maybe a totally unoaked chardonnay.

I’m also looking at some blends, both red and white, a rose or two, and certainly won’t ignore the wallet-friendly wines of Chile and Argentina, both countries doing quite well, thank you, on the international scene according to Wine & Spirits Daily.

I’ll head over to my favorite store tomorrow night and peruse the options. I’ll let you know what I decide. But for now, I have to go finish waxing my skis. It’s still snowing in Telluride and 5 a.m. is early, even for me.

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