The holiday season is upon us with parties and gatherings everywhere you look. It’s the time of year when families and friends come together to celebrate and create moments and memories. At the center of many of these celebrations is a lot of good food and wine. In any given year, I have a good number of invitations to holiday gatherings with friends and family. Many people ask me, what are some basic, inexpensive, food-friendly wines to take to these gatherings and parties. Most importantly, they also ask, what kinds of wines can be enjoyed by a wide range of people. My answer can vary year after year as I discover new wines or turn to trusted favorites, but this time, I am sharing some wines that were sent to me to share with you that fit the bill.
The name of the winery is Mezzacorona Wines, located in the Italian Dolomites with Pinot Grigio and Chardonnay being the dominant varieties. All of the Mezzacorona wines are produced from 100% single varieties and are representative of the crispness and that is a benchmark of the Italian Dolomites. Mezzacorona has a full line-up of wines ranging from Pinot Grigio, and Chardonnay for the whites as well as a Moscato for those who are fans of sweet white wines. For the reds, they offer classic varieties such as Pinot Noir, Merlot, and Cabernet Sauvignon. I tasted their Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Cabernet Sauvignon.
Mezzacorona 2011 Chardonnay: This Chardonnay is unoaked, which allows the fruit and acidity to shine. In the glass, it pours a golden straw color. There are some tropical aromatics such as pineapple and guava along with crisp, Granny Smith apple. Flavors of the tropical fruit, Asian pear, and citrus fill the palate with good acidity. The wine is crisp and refreshing and would be a good accompaniment to appetizers with shrimp or chicken or cheeses such as Provolone or Brie. This wine sells for $8 per bottle on average across various online wine retailers
Mezzacorona 2010 Pinot Noir: This Pinot Noir pours a ruby color in the glass. The bouquet is filled with bright cherry, strawberry, cola, and forest floor aromatics. On the palate there are flavors of cherry, pomegranate, tart currants, raspberry, herbs, and finishes with a touch of spice. This is another food-friendly wine to pair with soft cheese or pork and chicken dishes. For me, it was an interesting wine to taste, in that I have never tried a Pinot Noir from Italy. This wine sells on average between $8 and $14 per bottle across various online wine retailers.
Mezzacorona 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon: This cabernet pours a dark garnet color in the glass. On the nose you get blackberry, boysenberry, dark cherry, vanilla, spice, and oak. This is a robust Cabernet giving a flavor profile of boysenberry, blueberry, vanilla, spice, and a touch of espresso on the long finish. The wine is smooth with a softer tannic structure. Pair it with meatball appetizers, hard cheeses such as blue cheese or cheddar, or even chocolate for a more fun pairing. This wine sells for $10 per bottle, on average.
All three of these wines are very food-friendly and are wallet-friendly, which make them great choices to take to those informal gatherings to enjoy and also make for good hostess gifts.
Mezzacorona Wines play a huge role in social media. They can be found on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, and Tumblr. They are currently running a contest on their Facebook page where users can submit pictures of their “Mezzacorona Moments.” That is, pictures of them enjoying their favorite Mezzacorona Wines. The moment with the most votes, wins a trip for two to Italy! The contest runs through December 31, 2012. Be sure to “like” their Facebook page first so you are able to enter. I encourage everyone to enjoy a bottle of Mezzacorona wine and submit their “Mezzacorona Moment” to have a chance to win the exciting grand prize. What is YOUR Mezzacorona Moment?
Happy Holidays and until the next time friends.
*These wines were provided as media samples for review purposes.