The first week of November and it’s already snowing in New York City! Mother nature is jumping the gun, and it looks like things could get pretty intense from now until New Year’s Eve.
Not that there’s anything wrong with jumping into things. After all, the old adage “quick to ignite, quick to burn out” is only true if you let it be true.
As we approach the holidays, I’m all for kicking things up a notch with swarthy red wines that turn your limbs to rubber and your face aglow. Thanksgiving is around the corner, and I don’t know about you, but I’m thankful for a number of people who have filled my life with romance over the years and the wines we’ve shared.
Vignamaggio Chianti Classico 2003
You might have to hit Tuscany yourself to get your hands on a bottle of this vintage. Now, nearly a decade later, the Sangiovese in this blend is just starting to settle. The tannins are fine and dusty and the acidity still quite vibrant. It’s warm and cozy, but with a secret, spicy heart. I first tasted this with a man I loved enough to introduce to my family, even my Grandmother (she liked him!), and later, when that didn’t work out, I tasted it again with what you might call, “a younger vintage.” He had some maturing to do, but like the younger Chiantis, he was fierce and unforgettable. For a similarly warm and spicy experience, look for Castello di Sonnino Cantinino 2007. It is Sangiovese at its best, utterly Tuscan and once it starts flowing you’ll both be thankful…
Accordini Amarone della Valpolicella DOC 2007
The first few times I had Amarone I never bothered to remember the label. Amarone was enough. Nowadays it’s nice to know what to look for. A wine like no other, it seethes with aromas of raisins, tar, licorice, and chocolate. It seems sweet, but once you spend a little time together, the dark and stormy edge comes crashing through. With tannins like greased lightening (yes I did.), sleek and sharp at the same time, this wine is the complex companion best savored over a long night. Thank you Alessandro for those eight hours. When we finally said goodnight, the wine was just beginning to bloom.
Caldaro Pfarrhoff Schiava Kaltereresee 2010
Thanksgiving is a time of overindulgence. Sure, we dress it up as celebration of gratefulness, but let’s be honest, part of us can’t wait to stuff ourselves until we’re ready to burst, take a nap, and go back for more. From feasting to “flirting,” Schiava is a wine that pairs fantastically with spices, game meat, and body heat. It grows primarily in the high altitude vineyards of Trentino-Alto Adige region, and the terroir definitely leaves a mark. Red, yet cool and crisp, imagine grapes wheezing for air high on the mountain peaks, and what you get is austere dark berries with complete and utter freshness at the same time, plus some black pepper to boot. Schiava has a young yet rustic quality, like a freshly flushed boy scout back from his first overnight hike. It also means “slave” in Italian. I’m not touching that.
Whatever you’re drinking this Thanksgiving, take your time and be grateful for the loved ones around you – be they friends and family, or that special someone who sets your heart palpitating.