Make us your home page
Instagram

Drinks of the week: 2014 Avalon California Chard, 2014 Cline Ancient Vines Zinfandel

Thanksgiving dinner isn't the time to break out the pricey look-at-me wines. You want a wine that plays well with all those diverse tastes on the table, one that's food friendly but with enough character to stand its ground next to everything from the turkey to the pumpkin pie.

White or red? Again, the many flavors of the Thanksgiving feast mean you can go either way (or have both), but I'd avoid the really lightweight whites, like pinot grigio, or the heavyweight reds such as cabernet sauvignon.

That leaves plenty to choose from in the middle. One white to consider is the 2014 Avalon California Chard, widely available at about $10. Made from grapes grown in a variety of traditional chardonnay-producing regions, such as Russian River Valley and Santa Barbara County, the wine is 100 percent chardonnay, aged for three months in French oak.

The wine's aroma is full of ripe pear, with touches of nutmeg and vanilla. Its flavors are fruit forward: more pear plus Golden Delicious apple, even hints of guava and lemon. Complementing the fruit are vanilla, baking spices and a light kiss of butterscotch. There's oak, but it's understated. The finish is a clean pop of pear and lemon.

If you're thinking red, think about the 2014 Cline Ancient Vines Zinfandel. Cline has a range of zins; this one falls into the midrange prize point, widely available at about $14. Its grapes come from century-old vineyards in Contra Costa Valley; the wine is 93 percent zinfandel, with the balance petite sirah, carignane and alicante bouschet. It's aged in a combination of old and new American oak for seven months.

On the nose, the first hit is cherry jam, balanced with notes of chocolate and coffee. Take a mouthful of this deep-red zin, and the cherry joins juicy strawberry and blackberry, with touches of clove, cedar and bramble. Soft tannins work with all those rich flavors. The long finish is mostly chocolate cherry, but a whiff of woodsmoke keeps it savory.

Colette Bancroft, Times staff writer

Drinks of the week: 2014 Avalon California Chard, 2014 Cline Ancient Vines Zinfandel 11/18/16 [Last modified: Tuesday, November 15, 2016 2:24pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Ticket window: Shania Twain, Chicago, George Benson

    Music & Concerts

    Tickets for the following events go on sale this week:

    LAS VEGAS, NV - DECEMBER 01:  Singer Shania Twain performs during the debut of her residency show "Shania: Still the One" at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace on December 1, 2012 in Las Vegas, Nevada.  (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Getty Images)
  2. Plan your weekend Aug. 25-27: Craig Morgan, Wearable Art 13, SNL's Pete Davidson, Rodeo Fest

    Events

    Plan your weekend

    USF

    Pete Davidson: Saturday Night Live star Pete Davidson will headline this year's University of South Florida Round-Up Comedy Show, a back-to-school tradition at USF. Expect to hear about his recent trip to rehab, since he's known for his confessional …

    The 12th annual Wearable art Fashion Show was held at the Dunedin Fine Art Center on Saturday evening, August 27, 2016.
DAVID W DOONAN | Special To The Times
  3. Pasco Events for Aug. 25-31

    Events

    25 Friday

    Feeding Pasco's Elderly hosts inaugural Leadership Breakfast: The Pasco County Elderly Nutrition Division/Feeding Pasco's Elderly will host this east Pasco event to mirror the Ambassador's Breakfast fundraising event that has been held the past two years on the county's west side. County …

  4. Local craft beer of the week: Cherry Pastelitos, Coppertail Brewing Co. in Tampa

    Bars & Spirits

    On Saturday, Tampa's Coppertail Brewing Co. will celebrate its third anniversary with a Florida weisse festival, showcasing densely fruited tart wheat beers from more than a dozen Tampa Bay area breweries including, of course, many of its own brews in this summer-friendly style.

    Center: Coppertail Brewing’s Cherry Pastelitos. Flanking it are Coppertail’s BOMP (blood orange, mango, passionfruit), left, and Pinky Swear (pink lemonade-flavored).
  5. 'Smokey Joe's Cafe' opens run at Show Palace Dinner Theatre

    Stage

    The Show Palace Dinner Theatre in Hudson takes a nostalgic swing through the 1950s and '60s with its production of Smokey Joe's Cafe, which opens Aug. 26. The local offering of the longest-running rock 'n' roll revue in Broadway history features the legendary pop tunes of hit makers Mike Stoller and Jerry Leiber. …

    A local production of the 1950s and '60s musical revue "Smokey Joe's Cafe" opens Aug. 26 at the Show Palace Dinner Theatre in Hudson.