If duck is somewhere in your lineup of holiday feasts this year, as it is at our house, you might be casting about for just the right wine pairing. Pinot noir would do nicely, of course, but if you're looking for a big, bold, lusty red to complement the richness of the bird you could hardly do better than the 2007 Block 613 Cabernet Sauvignon Yountville (about $25 at wine shops and big-box stores).
This is an old-school cab, brawny and full-bodied, made by Sonoma County's Vineyard Block Estate from Napa Valley grapes. For us, at least, it was love at first sniff. The heady aroma in the glass is compounded of nuanced fig, leather, tobacco and currant, which proved to be an accurate preview of the deep and robust flavors that swirl over the tongue at first sip: chocolate, blackberry, black currant, fig and even a hint of darkly spicy gingerbread. This cab has a silky mouthfeel and well developed tannins that carry through to a long and complex finish. It is satisfying in every way.
The 2007 Block 613 is a superb food wine, provided what's on the plate is as concentrated and muscular as the contents of the bottle. That's why it will share our festive board with the classic combination of crispy roast duck breast and pungent dark meat duck confit on Christmas. It also is a pluperfect gift wine, a discovery for which the lucky recipient will bless you.
By Colette and John Bancroft. She is the Times' book editor, and he is a freelance specializing in food, wine and travel.