SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS)— The holidays are upon us and I've got two wine selections that won't break the budget and are easy to pair with food.
The 2012 Gary Farrell Russian River Selection Chardonnay has a beautiful aroma of grapes; not oak or butter. The alcohol content is only 13.5 percent and it's my kind of wine. This wine is more in the style of its French antecedent from Burgundy. It's elegant with fine acidity to give balance to the fruit and by comparison to some high-alcohol oaky wines, it's easy to pair with food.
A roast poultry of any kind would be wonderful with this selection. You could even hang on to some for next season's Wild King salmon. I like to hang on to it for a few years and let it develop some complexity. At $35 this Chardonnay is a very fine value.
We also have the 2012 Williams Selyem Pinot Noir from the Calegari Vineyard. This wine possesses a medium, deep-garnet color, a touch of raspberry and a hint of red roses, sort of like one of the old varieties like Chrysler Imperial with its distinctive aroma. It will sit mellow and balanced on the palate. It will pay a handsome reward as it's built in the classic style of an austere burgundy. In 2012, Williams Selyem made no fewer than 15 Pinot Noirs ranging in price from $52 to $105. This particular bottle is $55.
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