The Tasting Panel magazine

November 2015

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Page 60 of 136

PAIRINGS TOP WINE DIRECTORS SAY THESE FOOD-FRIENDLY WINES COMPLEMENT HEARTY HOLIDAY FARE by Cliff Rames A utumn is a season of color, marked by vibrant hues of fall foliage and pump- kin patches, orchard reds and golds, and warm tones of linen tablecloths, scented candles and buffet boards adorned with hearty comfort foods and crusty baked delicacies. The holiday season also shepherds in a grand cornucopia of cuisine styles and flavors, from traditional to trendy—menus that incite debate over the merits of various wine pairings and regions (Old World versus New; dry versus sweet; white versus red). But fear not! For perfect pairings, seasonal celebrants and sommeliers need look no further than the wines of Spain's D.O. Ribera and D.O. Rueda. Ribera and Rueda bring the right combination of freshness, boldness and diversity of flavor to complement all hearty holiday menus. "When the weather cools, meat and rustic root vegetable–driven dishes, as well as slower cooking methods like braising, roasting and grilling, take center stage," says Master Sommelier Alexander LaPratt, partner at Atrium DUMBO in Brooklyn. "These foods and cooking methods are a natural accouterment for the wines of Ribera and Rueda." LaPratt describes the Verdejo-based whites of Rueda as bright and crisp without being simplistic, while the signature Tempranillo grape of Ribera del Duero delivers bold, rugged and ripe reds—two styles that beautifully bookend a festive fall meal that progresses from zesty or spicy salads and appetizers to main courses that feature herb-crusted roasts and fowl with sweet and savory root vegetables and squashes. Ribera and Rueda: Dynamic Duo Master Sommelier Alexander LaPratt, partner at Atrium DUMBO in Brooklyn. Pago de los Capellanes Joven Roble from Ribera. Dominios de Castilla Crianza from Ribera. PHOTO: LANA BORTOLOT

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