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    Tuesday, 05 December 2006

    A guest who bears wine as a gift is especially welcome in our home. But even better is the guest who takes the trouble to select an unusual wine that provokes conversation. We like to bring bubbly to the host and hostess, but Champagne or something sparkling from California is too predictable. Instead, why not bring a sparkling wine from an unexpected location, such as Virginia? Another interesting choice would be a wine made from a grape variety that practically no one has ever heard of (or can pronounce!). Or you can surprise your host or hostess with something really different, such as the world's darkest rosé wine. If a dessert wine seems appropriate, we'd skip the usual suspects, such as port or Sauternes, in favor of ice wine from a country whose wines might be new to your friends and family — Canada!

    — M.E.M. and E.M.

    wine recommendations

    Cataldi Madonna Cerasuolo 2005, Abruzzo, Italy 
    If you're tired of wimpy rosés, Cataldi Madonna's deep-colored, dry Cerasuolo, packed with the flavor of cherries, is your wine.

    Segura Viudas Creu de Lavit Xarel-lo 2004, Penedés, Spain 
    Made from local grapes called Xarel-lo (pronounced cha-REL-lo), this is a medium-bodied, off-dry white with beguiling citrus flavors and crisp acidity that refreshes the palate.

    Kluge Estate Sparkling "SP" 2003, Virginia 
    Who would expect a delicious brut from Virginia? It's crisp and assertive, with lively citrus flavors. Kluge Estate also has a deliciously floral 2003 Rosé Brut for $39.

    Inniskillen Ice Wine, Riesling 2002, Canada 
    For the host or hostess who has everything, how about a delectable bottle of ice wine, made from frozen grapes in Canada's Niagara Peninsula? Rich and sweet, with ripe citrus and apricot flavors, it's a dessert by itself.

    Posted by: AT 10:14 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
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