Thursday, December 19, 2013

Winey Tasting Notes: A Quick Little Review of "Christmas at Biltmore" Wine

When the Winey Hubby and I were first married, we lived in North Carolina. He was getting his law degree at the time and while we didn't have much time (or money for that matter!) to get away, we did manage a weekend trip or two. One of our absolute favorites was a drive to Asheville, NC, home of the famous Biltmore Mansion as well as The Biltmore Winery. Back then, the winery was brand spanking new and the wines were numbered. (For the record, our favorite was #19 - a sweeter white wine.)

photo of Biltmore Winery, Asheville, North Carolina
Biltmore Winery
Fast forward 25 or so years, and I am still a big fan of Biltmore Wines. We took the Winey Daughter to the estate a few years ago and I can honestly say if you ever get a chance to tour this magnificent mansion, do it!! It is breathtaking. The winery is now the most visited winery in the nation.

Now flashback to earlier this week, when the wonderful folks at Biltmore asked me if I would be interested in reviewing their limited release Christmas at Biltmore Wine. Would I??? Does Rudolph have a red nose?

bottle of Christmas at Biltmore Wine, 2013So, I joyfully opened a bottle of Christmas at Biltmore (2012, 12.8%, grapes from CA and WA, made in NC - truly an American wine!). Actually, before opening it, I took a good look at the label. It's so pretty - a painting of Biltmore in all of its Christmas splendor. It was chosen via a wine label design contest that the winery holds for this varietal. So if you are so inclined, you can find the info for next year's contest here. Please note that the Winey Mom is not so inclined, as her artistic skills are far below her uncorking skills.

Anyway, on to the wine. A very light gold color, it's a blend of  Muscat Canelli and Gewurztraminer with a teeny bit of Riesling. So the first aroma that reaches your nose is flowers, followed quickly by honey and pineapple. The taste starts out sweet, but moves on to some bright acidity. I loved the way this wine moved around in my mouth. The acidity gave it almost a bubbly feel, so it stayed bouncy and never entered into that icky thick sweet territory. The flavors were honey and sweet citrus (the pineapple again), with a touch of  faint cinnamon spice. It finished tart and citrusy. I'd put it at a semi-sweet white. Definitely not dry.

If you buy this from the on-line wine store at Biltmore, it's $12.99. While Biltmore wines are readily available (I love the Biltmore Century red and its white counterpart, by the way), you may have to search a bit harder for the Christmas at Biltmore. But it's well worth it. Especially if you can get your hands on it for the upcoming holidays. I'd call this wine a real crowd pleaser. It would pair nicely with your Christmas ham as well as the many sides that accompany it. Since we are dining on roast beast (thank you Dr. Seuss!) Christmas Day in the Winey Household, I will serve this with appetizers, which include shrimp, bite sized quiches and whatever else I think of while I'm doing the grocery shopping tomorrow.

I really enjoyed this one, Winey Friends! It's got enough flavor and zip to be yummy, but it is also the rare sweet white that doesn't weigh you down. You can leave that to the cookies and the chocolate and those little quiches, which I seem to be unable to resist.

Cheers! Merry sipping!

I was given this wine for review purposes. The opinions are all my own. 

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