Let's Talk Wine with Eric Garnier
December 2012

Salud! to 2012

My December column is always the hardest one for me to write. I have so many topics going through my head that it's hard for me to choose. I want to discuss the wines that compliment the Christmas and New Year celebration. Powerful Cabernets and elegant sparkling wines.

I want to write about the "stand out" wines that I have tasted throughout the year. I want to share my wine traveling experiences. So, I have decided to put those ideas on hold and write about something that passed through my crazy head as I was decided which topic to pick for this article. It came to me the other night and caught me off guard.

While I was reflecting back on all the wines I had tasted this year, it donned on me that one country had me drinking a lot of their wine. It also occurred to me that this country in particular has really stepped up to the plate. That country would be Spain. I find that quality has increased dramatically and prices have remained relatively stable. Spanish wine are still extremely affordable and easy to drink.

 Spain has over 68 wine growing regions that grow over 75 different varietals. In my opinion, the wines worth searching for are: Albariño, a light white slightly fruity wine that is perfect with seafood and an all around summer wine. Garnacha, Monastrell, and Tempranillo are all fantastic reds that go well with almost any meal. These varietals are not has heavy as their counter parts here in the states, which make them more food friendly. These varietals are being grown and produced here in California, but at a much higher price.

These wines are available locally, but at times you have to search for them. Feel free to email me with questions about availability.

I can't end this article without mentioning some of my favorite wines I tasted this year. These are not in order, but definitely worth mentioning:
  • Evodia Granacha, Spain
  • Morgon 12 Clone Pinot Noir Monterey
  • Columbia Crest H3 Merlot, Washington
  • Pedestal Merlot, Columbia Valley Washington
  • Belle Glos Clark & Telephone Pinot Noir, California
  • Daou Celestus blend Paso Robles
  • Pio Cesare Oltra, Piedmonte, Italy
I have so many more I'd like to list and I won't, because I want you to be the judge. So, go out there and taste, taste, taste.

Happy Holidays to all my readers
Cheers!

Eric
Questions or comments? Reach me at : Wineoeric@gmail.com


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