Last night I had some friends over to celebrate a not very Christmas-y Eve. Of course wine was involved. I wanted to start with something a little lighter so I went with one of my favorite whites - Erath Pinot Gris. Medium bodied with a lot of refreshing acid and wonderful fruit flavors of apricot and a hint of pear.
We then moved on to our first red - Benton Lane Pinot Noir - another excellent value. For those who've been keeping up with their reading, it's the wine I enjoyed at a family dinner a few weeks ago. Dry cherry yumminess.
Though it was late in the evening, I was able to "twist" my friends' arms and convince them to go for a 3rd bottle. This is where we decided to take it up a notch and I uncorked a bottle of Gary Farrell's 2006 Carneros Pinot Noir that I'd picked up in Sonoma this past June. Gary Farrell's labels are pretty standard and boring so rather than include a picture of the bottle, I attached a picture of the view from Gary Farrell's tasting room. This is what they should put on their label because it's one of the best views in Sonoma.
Pinot Noirs from California tend to have a lot more of a cooked fruit nose and taste as the grapes are grown in a warmer climate than in Burgundy or in Oregon. This turns some people off, but when done right, I find it tasty and warming. Gary Farrell's Carneros Pinot Noir has a nose and a palette of stewed plums and it's absolutely delightful. Luckily my friends are lightweights because I still have a glass left to enjoy later today (after I get back from the movies of course)!
I hope all of your holiodays are as merry or as Gary.
Until the next sniff, sip or quaff,