Now that winter is nearly on it’s way out, it’s time to think about spring celebrations. Whether you’re heading to an Easter throw-down or a Passover seder, or just trying to cheer on the warmer weather, you better show up with something good to drink. Here are three Old World wines for old-school feasts. [Note: If a house keeps kosher for Passover, you will need a KP wine. This Israeli Cab, while pricey, is your best bet.]
Terradora di Paola Loggia della Serra Greco di Tufo 2014
Italy’s Campania region produces crisp, complex and unique whites that make wine wonks salivate like weasels in a hen house. From one of the area’s top wineries, this bottle is made from the Greco grape grown on the steep slopes of Montefusco. Love at first sniff, it draws you in with aromas of melon, citrus and spearmint. Dry, balanced and crackling with acidity, it delivers a lot of bang for 20 bucks. Serve as an aperitif or at the table with herbed roast chicken, baked salmon, or any dish where anchovies enter the equation.
Descendientes de J. Palacios Pétalos 2013
A collaboration between wine maverick Alvaro Palacios and his nephew, Ricardo Perez, this winery produces some superb reds in the emerging Bierzo region in northwestern Spain. Adorned with one of the prettiest labels in the business, Pétalos is their entry-level bottle, and the Mencia-based juice inside punches well above its weight. Expect a floral nose, blackberry flavours, and a spicy finish. The tannins are bit gravely at the moment, however, three hours of air soften them up for current enjoyment. Open with a golden turkey, leg of lamb, or a postprandial wedge of Manchego.
Donatella Cinelli Colombini Brunello di Montalcino 2008
Considering this is a slightly older wine of such extraordinary quality, the $45 price tag doesn’t seem so steep. Yes, it’s still a young pup by Brunello standards, but a quick dump into a decanter and an hour’s breathing room will open it up nicely. The nose is hauntingly good, an autumnal mix of wet leaves, potpourri and cloves. Medium to full-bodied, it’s layered and exquisitely balanced with an intensity that makes the glass practically hum. You would do well to cellar a few bottles and revisit in 2020. Pour with brisket, pasta Bolognese or wild mushroom risotto.