Thursday, December 17, 2009

An Open Christmas Letter to Mrs. Claus

Dear Mrs. Claus,

May I call you “Sandy?”

This year, I’m sending you my Christmas list because you strike me as a woman who appreciates the really good stuff. And I’m afraid Santa may have been doing too many vodka shots with the elves – you know, red nose, bit of a tummy.

Anyway, there is a lot of really good wine and spirits out there this year at some pretty cool prices. So here’s my Christmas wish list.

If I can get only one gift, let it be a bottle of Château Le Pin. Any vintage. Any size bottle. Be careful it doesn’t fall off the sleigh as you're going over New Jersey.

Next, let’s look at some things that are a little more down to terroir. I’d really appreciate some Syrahs from the west side of Paso Robles – lots of good brands to choose from. And while, we’re at it, a case from New Zealand’s Gimblett Gravels area – maybe Craggy Range’s “Le Sol” – would be good if we want to do comparison tastings.

I’ve also been warming up to Grenache, and there are some really good bargains from the South of France in Languedoc. Something from Minervois would be quite nice.

Malbec. I know it’s trendy, but I do like the stuff, especially from south of Mendoza in Argentina. For comparison’s sake, let’s throw in a case of malbec “black wine” from the fountainhead, Cahors.

For Cabs and Merlot, I still like the old country. The 2000 and 2005 Bordeaux vintages are very nice, and, if you think we should do futures, I’d be happy with the 2008. We can defer delivery until 2011.

Oh yes, don’t forget some Barolos and Barbarescos.

Turning to white wines, I’m a sucker for blends from Pessac-Leognan, Chardonnay from Russian River Valley with a modest touch of oak and a few dry Rieslings from Clare Valley.

See what looks good to you at some of those small Champagne houses in a non-vintage brut, and toss in some cava for everyday drinking.

Let’s not forget the locals. How about some Brandywine Valley Viognier, Chardonnay, Italian reds and a little Chambourcin? You choose. You might also want to tuck in a wine trail annual passport.

Now, big question: Is there any chance that you could borrow Santa’s SUV and deliver this yourself? I’ll help you unload. We can ditch the coffee-and-cake routine, and I’ll have some Pommery Cuvee Louise on ice and throw another log on the fire.

Smooth sledding!

This column originally appeared in the December 16, 2009, edition of The NewsJournal.

Until next time....

Roger Morris

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