By Brian Tillery
I have been in the adult beverage business for 41 years, and with Triangle Grocery as its liquor department manager since April 2015. I would love to help you select the perfect gift or meal pairing for your holiday gatherings—and any celebrations you’ll have in the upcoming New Year as well.
I have made a few suggestions here; however, please come visit me at the store, as we have an extensive selection of beer, wine, and spirits. I think our selection is already one of the best in New Mexico but let me know if there is anything you would like us to carry. If it is available, we will bring it in.
Jamieson Ranch Vineyards Double Lariat Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley, California)
An elegant and bold wine, hinting of mocha, black cherry, plum, and a bit of spice. A soft mouth feel and mild tannins. Pair this with a nice juicy rib eye steak.
Veraz Garnacha (Spain)
A very well-balanced wine, dark cherry in color, with lots of raspberry and blackberry. Really soft on the palate. This is a very good-quality “everyday” wine, as it is priced under $10.
Clairault Cabernet Sauvignon (Margaret River, Australia)
Lots of red and black fruit and a nice touch of oak, with a berry and licorice finish. An excellent wine for the price. This cabernet and beef is what’s for dinner.
Obalo Rioja Crianza (Spain)
This 100 percent Tempranillo is aged 12 months in oak. Bright red in color, with fruity aromas and the taste of ripe blackberries. Floral, spicy, and a touch earthy, it features a velvety mouth feel and a long finish. Try it with cheddar cheese or game dishes.
Benton-Lane Pinot Noir (Willamette Valley, Oregon)
Spicy plum flavors and smooth tannins mark this very well-balanced and light-bodied red wine. Pairs with many foods, including fish and roast lamb or pork.
Marietta Christo (North Coast, California)
This red blend is 64 percent syrah, 23 percent grenache, 7 percent petite syrah, and 6 percent viogner. This blend results in a medium-to-full-bodied, semi-sweet wine with plumb, blackberry, spice, and herbal notes.
Murphy-Goode Liar’s Dice Zinfandel (Sonoma, California)
Juicy, with soft tannins and raspberry and blackberry. Try this with barbeque, burgers, or chocolate.
Tenuta di Arceno Chianti Classico (Italy)
Grapes are 90 percent sangiovese and 10 percent cabernet sauvignon of Tuscany. Floral, spicy, and acidic, with balanced tannins, ripe plums, and tart berries. Pairs well with Italian red sauce dishes, pizza, and ham.
Chehalem Inox Chardonnay (Oregon)
This chardonnay is aged in stainless steel tanks, not oak. A full-fruited wine that will pair with foods that oaked chardonnays will not, like fish, chicken, and salads.
Clairault Chardonnay (Margaret River, Australia)
Aged in French oak. Buttery, slightly herbal, with nice acidity—very well-balanced. Pairs best with a glass.
Sineann Gruner Veltliner (Oregon/Washington)
This wine is very earthy, citric, crisp, and herbal. Gruner is one of the most versatile white wines, but probably pairs best with delicate white meats and poultry. Fantastic with turkey.
Matanzas Creek Sauvignon Blanc (Alexander Valley, Sonoma, California)
Lots of crisp fruits—grapefruit, pear, pineapple, and nectarines—with a long finish. A great aperitif.
Spy Valley Sauvignon Blanc (Marlborough, New Zealand)
As typical of many New Zealand sauvignon blancs, this is a grapefruit bomb. Also slightly floral, with hints of tropical fruit. This is the wine for seafood or dishes with a heavy cream sauce.
Cantina di Casteggio Pinot Grigio (Italy)
Another “every day” wine, thanks to its reasonable price. Lemon, lime, peach, and pear. Fresh and crisp. Pairs well with shellfish, light cream sauces, salads, or as an aperitif.
Les Aumones Vouvray Chenin Blanc (France)
This semi-sweet wine is another one of the most versatile white wines available, along with Gruner Veltliner, sauvignon blanc, and Riesling. Not only is it great for food pairing it’s a great sipper, as it will please a variety of palates. From oaked chardonnay to moscato drinkers, most will enjoy it.
Lagar da Condesa Albarino (Spain)
Regarded by many in the wine community as Spain’s greatest white wine. Though very few people know this varietal, more should give it a try. Crisp and citrusy. Pairs well with any kind of fish, whether fresh or seawater.
BEER AND CIDER
We have a very extensive selection of beer and cider here at the Triangle and have recently started carrying quite a few “adult sparkling” seltzers as well. Many of them are award-winning brews from right here in New Mexico. And, remember, at Triangle, we have the meads!
But no matter what you prefer, as always, please have a safe and festive Holiday Season.
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