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Affordable holiday red
Affordable holiday red
Tomorrow is Thanksgiving Day in the U.S., and if you're looking for a last-minute bottle (or two) of wine to accompany the holiday feast, allow me to refer you to last year's thorough analysis, "Heritage holidays," http://www.wineloverspage.com/wineadvisor2/tswa20071119.php
For today, though, with Thanksgiving falling amid unusual financial worries over much of the world, worries that for many people cast a shadow over a whole-hearted giving of thanks, let's single out a specific, recently tasted wint that makes a fine companion with the holiday feast without costing a holiday price.
The wine, Michele Chiarlo 2006 "Le Orme" Barbera d'Asti, comes in at just a buck over $10 in this region, and may be available in some markets for less. Its crisp, tart red-fruit flavors are reminiscient of cranberries (see "the cranberry sauce rule" in last year's article linked above); and with its crisp, mouth-watering acidity, Barbera makes an exceptional companion with a variety of foods, including the traditional spread on the Thanksgiving banquet table.
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Michele Chiarlo 2006 "Le Orme" Barbera d'Asti ($10.99)
Very dark reddish-purple, with a clear garnet edge. Red-berry fruit, something like cranberries (only half-joking, perhaps a candidate for the Thanksgiving table), backed by subtle earthy, woody notes that stay well beneath the fruit. Tart cranberry flavors well shaped by zippy acidity, a good food wine with a variety of meat and poultry courses. U.S. importer: Kobrand Corp., NYC. (Nov. 24, 2008)
FOOD MATCH: As noted, it would be a fine, affordable companion to the holiday feast. We enjoyed it on a non-holidy work night with leftover chuck roast and garlicky mashed potatoes from a local restaurant.
VALUE: A wine of this quality in the $10 range makes a splendid "recession-buster."
WHEN TO DRINK: Barbera d'Asti falls into the happy category of wine that's delicious young and capable of cellaring. The winery suggests keeping it for up to seven years.
The winery Website is available in English and Italian. Here's a link to the fact sheet on "Le Orme" Barbera d'Asti.
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