As 2014 comes to a close, we toast to the coming new year with a smattering of snapshots from our holidays. We’re grateful for every wonderful wine we’ve had the pleasure of sipping this year, and for all you who have followed our adventures and joined us in our merriment. Cheers and Happy New Year! Our fascination with Riesling continued, as we sipped the lovely, honey-tinged Trisaetum Ribbon Ridge from Oregon. It certainly took at least a little bit of the sting out of the plummeting temperatures outside. They don’t call Riesling “summer in a glass” for nothing. We also included Riesling in our Christmas night supper, pairing a light and slightly sweet Kabinett from the Mosel region in Germany with our fondue. We brought out some of our traditional favorites like the Rafanelli Cabernet (2008, sipping deliciously, by the way, from the Dry Creek Valley in Sonoma) and Williams Selyem Pinot Noir (2006 Sonoma Coast bottling, also still luxuriously full of fruit but nicely mellow with age). We dined out with the family at Minneapolis’ Burch Steak and Pizza Bar, enjoying incredible beef, with sides of roasted carrots and goat cheese, charred brussels sprout salad with pancetta, creamed spinach and roquefort bridie, the walnut gorgonzola dumplings, and of course the famed wood-fired pizza. The icing on the cake was finding one of our favorite Anderson Valley (California) wines on their list— the elegantly finessed Navarro Pinot Noir. We admit we were a little miserly with the very small production Zotovich Viogner, with its crisp, clean, pear and apple flavors that tickled our tastebuds. We also delighted in the Kunin Sauvignon Blanc that was made with grapes from another of our favorite vintners, Stoplman. These three Santa Barbara area wineries, with their Rhone-style wines, have quickly become some of the most precious holdings in our cellar. We popped the cork on some of the last of our Breggo Pinot Noir, another favorite of ours from Mendocino County’s Anderson Valley. Beautifully balanced and supple, it is a quickly dwindling commodity as Breggo has changed it’s name to FEL. Though we lament the passing of the Breggo label, we’re delighted we can count on the same great quality and offerings from FEL. Yet another Anderson Valley love of ours is Bink Wines, whose Old Chatham Ranch Sauvignon Blanc comes from the Yorkville Highlands Appellation adjacent to the valley. With crisply floral notes and a hint of delicate citrus, we wish we had enough on hand to make this our house white. (Note the photograph in the gallery below which illustrates how our beloved cat uses her discerning eye to determine whether we’ve gotten every drop from the bottle.) When it came time to leave a treat for Santa, we chose Yorkville Cellars Sweet Malbec, with its uniquely luscious red raspberry flavors. We figured Santa must get awfully tired of milk. Apparently, he loved it because he left us an earthy, bold and delicious Truchard Malbec from Napa’s Carneros region under the tree in return. We love you, Santa! By the way, if you’d like to keep up with more of our sipping photographs, you can now find us on instagram at thirstykittenwine. We’re indebted to The Daughter for creating and cultivating our instagram presence over the past few weeks. In real life, she is a seasoned social media pro and writer and is actually known as Sara Chapman Heegaard. Proudly, we are fast becoming a favorite of both #CatsofInstagram fans and wine lovers, alike.
Photo credit: Sara Chapman Heegaard
Categories: Anderson Valley, California, Dry Creek Valley, Santa Barbara, Wine Tasting
Awwww… Kittens behind bubbles is an awesome pic! I will have to steal that idea. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! Camille
Thanks, Camille! The cat and bubbles photo almost looks like an alien behind the glass to us. We were very amused. : ) Cheers and happy holidays to you, too!
Looking forward to letting you try some Misha’s Vineyard Rieslings and Pinor Noirs when you visit later this month!
Misha, we’re thrilled that the plans have worked out! Can’t wait to have Kip’s full report on your vineyards and wines and look forward to sharing it here. Thanks so much for hosting us for a taste! (hint to readers: upcoming post featuring Misha’s Vineyard will highlight the gorgeous landscape of New Zealand’s Central Otago region, exquisite Pinot Noir and Riesling, plus a little father-son fly fishing adventure on the side. You won’t want to miss it!)
love the updated look of the TK blog/posts – and some great photos here. most notably for me, the trees reflected in the glass at sunset. love the TK’ers too!!!