“Christmas is coming, the goose is getting fat…. [errr… I guess I should look up the rest of the words.]“
Does anyone actually eat a goose on Christmas? I don’t think I’ve ever even had goose, holiday or not. Hmm. However, I believe many people have turkey or a roast of some sort on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day. So with that thought in mind, I offer what I consider a fine wine suggestion to accompany your holiday meal!
Divine Wine: Ridge Lytton Springs 2009, Ridge Vineyards, Sonoma, California
So I’m making a liar of myself on W2WK. In my relatively recent Thanksgiving post, I noted that I planned to bring the Tobin James Ballistic Zinfandel to my Thanksgiving celebration with the family. However, I ran out of time to hit up Costco, where I know they carry that bottle…. Instead, I went to Sportsman’s Wine and Spirits – one of Phoenix’s best wine shops! And I have to say, I’m pretty glad for my time crunch. Sportsman’s is one of those places where the employees know their stuff and provide great suggestions. I ended up with four bottles of wine for our four-person celebration. The Ridge Lytton Springs was the one I was most excited about, and turned out, the one I loved the most!
The Wine: This wine is a blend – 71% Zinfandel, 23% Petit Syrah, 6% Carignane. (Note to Wino self: Learn about the carignane grape and pretend like you have heard of it before.)
Wino Assessment: I was scouring my wine books for what to eat with a Turkey dinner. And the books (specifically, What To Drink With What You Eat), suggested a Zinfandel. And as soon as I read that, I could feel my taste buds getting happy. The savory, salty dinner that usually makes up a traditional Thanksgiving meal, and likely a similar set of savory dishes for Christmas meals, is an excellent balance for a big, bold, fruity Zinfandel.
The Ridge Lytton Springs was, indeed, divine. The wino-helper at Sportsman’s noted that this wine is a Cabernet drinker’s Zin. It is smooth while maintaining that bright fruitiness that one might look for in a Zinfandel. Between the turkey, the stuffing, the mashed potatoes, and all the salt and butter that goes into those dishes, the Ridge Lytton Springs added to the happiness of each bite. I would say it had some strawberry/raspberry kind of flavor to it, but not in a sweet way. It was balanced by something that made it so pleasantly smooth. (Can you hear my head searching for the word, but failing!?)
Ridge Vineyard’s Description: Here’s how the winery describes their 2009 Lytton Springs blend:
Ripe black cherry/raspberry nose, with notes of pepper, licorice, chaparral, and tobacco. Rich black fruit on the palate. Full, viscous. Well-coated tannins and a long, layered finish.
Side note about Ridge Vineyards – they have several vineyards throughout California, but Lytton Springs is in the Sonoma County area. I was first introduced to their wines by my Brotha Brian (he’s actually my brother… not a priest. However, he does hold internet-approved certification as a wedding officiant!). Anyway, we were celebrating his wife’s birthday at my house one year (2008, I think) and he picked up a bottle of a Ridge wine. I don’t recall if it was this one or another. But whatever we drank that day has stuck with me as a memorably divine wine!
Over the past year, I’ve grown to become a fan of Zinfandels. In my book, these are wines that are meant to be enjoyed with food. I think I may have been turned off by Zins before because I was probably just drinking them on their own and, therefore, may not have appreciated the flavors that would have come out if I had it properly paired.
The Bite: So… we know this goes well with a Turkey dinner. It probably goes well with one’s Christmas goose. (If you have goose for Christmas, or in general, please let me know. You may need to guest blog about it.) But try this wine (or other Zinfandels) with other heavy, savory meals like a roast, steaks, lamb, and even burgers. It will also be a nice balance for spicy meals – especially spicy Asian beef dishes.
Ridge has kindly provided an actual recipe to pair with this wine! They suggest Wine Country Tri-Tip. Yum. Click here to find the recipe from Ridge…
Let me know if you give this bottle a try! It will not disappoint!!