Twelve Nightcaps Before Christmas – The Re(night)cap with Afterword

The nightcaps we posted are good all year long

With any of these you will never go wrong

In case you missed one we’ve reposted them here

With one afterword, coming sometime next year…

imageEpilogue: Oktopusake Premium Junmai Sake, Connecticut

On the rare occasions I’m not drinking wine with sushi, I opt for sake instead. Sake is a perfect pairing with sushi and, since it is a rice wine, I can still call it research. I was very excited to learn that there is a local company working on perfecting their own sake. Oktopusake will soon be offering three varieties of their premium junmai sake to Connecticut consumers: Sun – a traditional dry sake; Moon – an unfiltered version (think milky white and slightly sweet); and Stars – a specialty reserve sake that will be as black as squid ink because it will be tinted with, well…squid ink! We will keep you posted on Oktopusake’s progress and are very much looking forward to seeing this new local product in Connecticut stores and restaurants in 2014.



Re(night)cap: One of the questions I encounter the most as a wine educator is “What’s your favorite wine?” I confess, it’s a question I’ve come to dread because I always feel like I’m disappointing the inquisitor. My answer usually goes something like this: “I don’t really have a favorite. It depends on the day, the time of year, the company in which I find myself, and any gustatory delights with which I may be pairing the wine.”  If really pushed, I’ll tell them that I am a Champagne girl. This seems to provide them with a little more satisfaction. But the truth is my favorite wine changes on a monthly, weekly and even daily basis. And I am always waiting to find my next favorite wine. The beauty of the wine world is that there is always more to explore. So, here I will present a list of my 12 favorite wines right now for drinking and gifting during the holidays, one day at a time for the next 12 days.

A Votre Santé!

For the full list of 12 nightcaps, click here: Nightcap Recap






Twelve Nightcaps Before Christmas – The 7th Nightcap

271342Nightcap #7: Stadt Krems Grüner Veltliner 2012, Niederösterreich, Austria $16

Many a worthwhile grape has failed to capture the American public’s attention, and love, due to nothing more than a language barrier. Let’s face it, it’s hard to cozy up to a wine whose name you can’t pronounce. Experts have speculated that this is the case with Austria’s signature white grape, grüner veltliner. But this grape has had something of a rebirth in the last few years. For starters, we can now call it Gru-ve, or Groovy, for short, making it immediately more accessible. Add to that the fact that it is a high acid, lip-smacking grape that pairs well with many foods, and we’ve got a winner.

This luscious wine throws off citrus notes, followed up with a delightfully tart bite, and finishing with a touch of white pepper, a flavor commonly associated with Groovy.  It provides a surprisingly weighty mouthfeel. What I especially like about this wine is its ability to stand up to bold-flavored dishes, even those notorious for making bad bed fellows. I have paired this wine with broccoli rabe to the surprise and delight of doubtful diners. In the never-ending search for chardonnay substitutes, this wine is a stand out. Da doo da doo doo, feeling Gru-Ve!