Sophisticated Living Indianapolis

NOV-DEC 2016

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Holidays are a time for celebrating life, family and friends. ere is arguably no better way to celebrate than by gifting wine and food, or even better yet, enjoying wine and food with said people. Sparkling Wine Every get-together should start with sparkling wine. An excellent alternative to Champagne is high quality Prosecco. e difference between the two is in the second fermentation, the process that creates the bubbles. For Prosecco, fermentation is quicker, taking place in large tanks, hence the term "Tank Method." e fermentation of Champagne takes place in individual bottles, a process known as the "Traditional Method" or Méthode Champenoise. e less time-consuming fermentation process for Prosecco does not lead to a complex sparkling wine, but it is not intended to. Rather, it produces a sparkling wine that is fresher, flavorful and less expensive. Prosecco Tommasi Filodora (Veneto, Italy) Pale yellow color with copious tiny bubbles forming a light but vivacious mousse. Fresh, vibrant and floral with citrus blossom and white peach in the nose. Dry and refreshingly crisp with a medium body, nice citrus and yellow apple flavors. This is an excellently flavored sparkling wine and a departure from inexpensive Prosecco. Made from 100 percent Glera grape. Winter Reds and Decanting Lots of white wine can be enjoyed year-round, but as we move into winter, I want to introduce a couple of red wines for our celebrations and recommend decanting for both. Decanting red wine is typically done for two reasons. e first is to remove sediment from an aged wine in order to keep the sediment from being poured into the glass. The second is to allow a young wine to aerate or breathe. By aerating a red wine, you are helping to expand the flavors or bring out the aromas and complexities that may only come out in the glass as the wine is poured over the evening. Decanters come in many shapes and sizes, but Riedel has long been considered the benchmark for wine glasses and decanters. ey have an immense selection of decanters and glasses for every wine and wine style you can fathom. Ayam Decanter Riedel (Kufstein, Austria) Newly available in July of this year, Riedel's Ayam Decanter is handcrafted and mouth-blown in Kufstein, Austria. This is a decanter for serious aficionados and is something you must try a couple of times to feel comfortable using, but once you do, you will feel like quite the decanting specialist. It has a beautiful design that seems to defy gravity, as it can safely hang from the side of many tables. Why you would want to hang this striking piece out of sight, besides being a quick conversation subject, is beyond me. I decanted the two wines below with the Ayam, and it was an excellent vehicle to aerate the wines as well as an elegant and enjoyable decanter to work with. e Northern Rhone of France is home to the finest Syrah- based wines in the world. One of the very best sub-regions is Côte-Rôtie or "roasted slopes." The continental climate and terraced vineyards on its southeasterly facing slopes help make these wines the benchmark for Syrah. While there are many fine producers, E. Guigal is one of the very best. Côte-Rôtie E. Guigal Château d'Ampuis 2012 (Rhone Valley, France) A medium purple color leading to a garnet red. Ethereal nose of red and black fruits of black and red cherry, raspberry, blackberry and plum. Generous baking spice, pepper, vanilla, anise, violets and cured meats. Dry, full bodied and full flavored with a tannic structure that benefited from decanting in the Ayam Riedel decanter. This wine will age and should be consumed in five to 10 years but is seductive now! It is made from 93 percent Syrah and seven percent Viognier and aged for 36 months in new French oak. 2012 is the 20th Anniversary Limited Edition, available in magnums as well as 750 ml bottles. In south central Tuscany lies the great hilltop town and wine region of Montalcino, famed for one of the very best wines in Italy, Brunello di Montalcino. Brunello di Montalcino is made from the grape Brunello, a synonym for Sangiovese. The dry, maritime climate encourages viticulture on the slopes of the Montalcino hills. Brunello di Montalcino Casisano 2011 (Tuscany, Italy) A ruby red wine leaning to garnet. e nose possesses red fruits such as raspberry and cherry mixed with a touch of plum, blackberry, purple flowers, anise and a touch of herbs, all of which combine to make this a rich wine in a full-body that is complex and appetizing. Crisp and dry with tannins that benefitted from decanting in the Ayam Riedel decanter. Full-bodied yet fresh, this wine is lively and not too big and rich. Made from 100 percent Sangiovese and aged three years in a Slavonian oak cask. Feel free to let this one age three to five years or decant and drink posthaste. is wine is from the Veneto producer Tommasi, which has expanded into Tuscany, as well as other Italian regions. sl A Certified Wine Educator, Harper is one of 147 professionals in North America and 230 worldwide who have earned the title Master Sommelier. Sip, Savor & Celebrate Written by Scott Harper, Master Sommelier 56

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