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All the way from the Emerald Isle!

Thursday, December 31, 2009

These are a few of our favourite things!

When pondering exactly how to ring in the inevitable New Year we always refer back to what we like to call the old standbys. You know what I am talking about, that favourite pub that pours the best pint, a favourite restaurant that always serves your favourite dish or in my case a few bottles of memories to let go of the 'noughties and welcome in the 'TwentyTens'. That being said, time to uncrate a few of our keepers to share with some friends this evening.

Although many moons ago, we fell in love with Kistler Chardonnay ( during our dating days in the early nineties. The Chef and I had been out to Sonoma for a WineTradeShow (aka - drink as much as you can flying visit) and were introduced to this wine. We stopped into a restaurant in Healdsburg, California called Zin ( One of the employees from Kistler Winery was eating dinner at a table near ours. We got to chatting and he pulled a bottle of their finest Chardonnay out of his wine bag (as you do when you live or work in the wine country) and the rest is history.

Although many moons have passed since that evening, we have always managed to have a bottle on hand for special occasions thanks to our wine buyer buddies in the states. What makes this wine so desirable is very simple. We LOVE it! Without getting too highfalouting as they say around here, I stole a little bit from their website to describe how this Chardonnay is different to others. "Kistler Chardonnay is made using traditional French techniques, with the winemaker himself performing the cellar work on the wines. Kistler Chardonnay has a distinct character. It is completely barrel-fermented using indigenous and cultured yeasts, is aged in 50% new French oak barrels unracked and in contact with all its fermentation lees, has undergone a malolactic fermentation, receives minimal handling and processing, and is bottled unfiltered and, generally, unfined after 11-18 months of barrel age."

Ironically, one of our other old standbys and certainly one of my top five favourite 'big reds' was introduced to us again in California. This time, we were honeymooning and my brand new husband had secured a reservation at 'The French Laundry' ( ) and the sommellier about died when we asked him his thoughts on this wine. It was he that had written it onto their hefty wine menu and we were one of the first to inquire after it. Granted, t'was hefty in price but still the most memorable grape juice to ever pass these lips. Henschke Winery ( ) does not produce a very high quantity of wine each year - but every single drop is worth searching for.

Times like these I certainly am glad that the Chef works in a Wine Shop and gets a nice discount! Although there are a few different vineyards and 'big reds' to choose from, our favourite remains the Cyrill Henschke Cabernet Sauvignon. Put it on your wish list guys n'dolls. 'Tis worth every cent!

So knowing there is but a few short hours to go and our friends are knocking on the door wondering 'what's for dinner' what better way to kick of the festivities than with a few drops of the bubbly stuff. I could ramble on for hours about the endless choices we all have when searching for something festive to celebrate the New Year but what is the point?

Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin ( is hands down, the best Champagne on the market. So what are you waiting for?? Ice it down and pop it open!

Happy New Year to all our friends, families and stalkers out there!

That is all the WiseWords I have for this year!



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