Stocking your bar with luxurious wines during the holidays doesn’t need to come at a luxurious price. There are many beautifully aged wines that won’t break your piggy bank and are the perfect accompaniment for your holiday gatherings.
This holiday season, consider pairing your holiday meal with wines from the Rioja region of Spain. Riojoas are aged and ready to drink when you buy them, so no cellaring is necessary. Two bottles worth noting are the award-winning Rioja-Bordón Red Reserve (2008) and the Viña Albina Gran Reserva. With an intense ruby color and rich, spicy cherry notes, the Rioja-Bordón, a blend of tempranillo, garnacha tinta, and mazuelo, is smooth and velvety on the palate. It spends 18 months in American oak and is best served between 61° F and 64.5° F (16° C - 18° C). And, it’s just $15 a bottle, so stock up on a few!
The 1998 Viña Albina Gran Reserve is a blend of tempranillo, mazuelo, and graciano and spends between 24 and 30 months aging in American oak. It has rich well-developed aromas with tawny, cherry notes. For a ’98 wine we think $55 a bottle is a deal!
For both old and new bottles of wine it’s important to decant. For older wines such as these, decanting allowed them to aerate and left any bitter or astringent sedimentation in the bottle, thus allowing the wines to come to life.
Both Riojas pair excellently with turkey (go for the Viña Albina!), but their easy drinking styles make them exceptionally versatile when it comes to pairing with food.