Raise a Glass
Local restaurants and wine stores reveal what holiday drinks they’ll be serving this season
(page 2 of 3)
Nicholas Roberts Fine Wine
1053 Post Road, Darien; (203) 656-9463
“I wouldn’t be able to get through the holidays without Non Vintage Vilmart Grand Cellier ($75),” says Peter Troilo, Managing Director of Nicholas Roberts Fine Wine in Darien. He claims this is the “most extraordinary non vintage Champagne currently available in the market,” containing “notes of pear and vanilla that are enhanced by rich notes of mystical herbs and chalk”.
Peter will be enjoying a Burgundy with his Thanksgiving dinner this year, specifically 2009 Domaine Gaston & Pierre Ravaut Cote de Nuits Village ($33). The light and delicate aromas of dried cherry, sage, mushroom and warm earth supply “just enough weight to carry its brooding fruit to delightful finish,” he says. His other glowing recommendation: 2010 Herman J Wiemer Dry Riesling ($20) from the Finger Lakes in upstate New York. He promises, “Its apple and pear fruit with light apricot nuances will be a treat with turkey.”
With Christmas prime rib, Peter drinks a 2008 Paradise Ridge “Elevation” Cabernet Sauvignon ($38) from Sonoma County. He loves the “dark fruit and soft cedar touches that erupt from the glass”. What’s the true holiday splurge that rounds out the meal? A 2010 Chateau Grand Tayac Margaux ($55) that is heaven paired with Stilton cheese.
10 Center Street, Darien; 203-614-8183
Baird Van Beever, general manager, explains that this cocktail is perfect for chilly weather and reminds you of warming up by the fire. The aging process mellows out the drink, and is nostalgic of an older era.
Equal parts Bulliet (rye whiskey) and Carpano Antica (a sweet vermouth) aged both together in an oak barrel (available to buy online if you want to do it yourself) for 6 weeks.
Once aged, pour over ice into a Rocks glass.
Add 3 dashes of Dr. Heather Duncan’s Christmas Bitters to give it that holiday flair, and serve.
Ten Twenty Post
1020 Post Road, Darien; 203-655-1020
Given Ten Twenty Post’s amazing oyster bar, we asked bartender Donnie O’Donoghue what he would pair with oysters. He recommends a dry white wine with moderate minerality like a Muscadet, or even, better, any champagne. He adds that if you’re in the mood for beer, believe it or not, Guinness is an excellent compliment to oysters because both have a high mineral content and the flavors blend nicely. For festive holiday drinks, don’t miss Donnie’s 3 Ten Twenty Post house specialties:
1) Velvet Hammer
Pour 1 part Guinness into a glass. As it settles, fill a champagne flute with 3 parts champagne (Veuve Cliquot is his choice). Add the “settled” 1 part Guinness to the flute, pouring slowly.
2) Kir Royale
¼ oz. Crème de Cassis (Mathilde is a good brand)
Top with champagne
Float a raspberry on top
3) The Boulavardier
This is Ten Twenty’s updated variation on the original libation created in 1927 by Harry McElhone, owner of Harry’s Bar in Paris. Harry fashioned the drink for an American expat who owned the magazine Boulavardier.
2.5 oz. bourbon (Buffalo Trace is a good brand)
1 oz. Carpano Antica Vermouth
½ oz. Campari
Stir in a shaker, then strain into a 5 oz. Martini glass.
Use a wide peel orange rind and a brandied cherry as a garnish
Wine Port of Darien
25 Old Kings Highway North, Darien; 203-655-2726
Manager Tim Smith agrees that Pinot Noirs seem to be a favorite for Thanksgiving, and his favorite is the Meiomi Pinot Noir ($19.99) from the Caymus family. If you prefer organic wines without all the strong sulfites that afflict many with headaches and stuffy noses, opt for the organic Barra Pinot Noir ($19.99) from the Mendocino area.
White Bridge Wine & Sprits
284 Tokeneke Road, Darien; 203-655-0658
Owner Mickey Interlandi explains that, “Truth be known, there is no wine that can perfectly compliment all flavors brought together for Thanksgiving.” Here is a list of some of his favorites that compliment most holiday menus.
For a traditional turkey with stuffing or berry stuffing, try:
White Knight Viognier 12.99
Lander Jenkins Chardonnay 13.99
Chateau St. Jean Chardonnay 14.99
Stuhlmuller Chardonnay 23.99
Mer Soleil Chardonnay 32.99
Anekena Pinot Noir 8.99
Primarius Oregon Pinot Noir 15.99
Monte degli Angeli Barolo 24.99
Migration by Duckhorn Pinot Noir 36.99
For a traditional turkey with cornbread or sausage stuffing, try:
Chateau Montaud Rose Provence 9.99
Willm Gewurtztraminer or Pinot Blanc 14.99
Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc New Z. 15.99
La Craie Pouilly Fume 16.99
Gobelsburger Dry Riesling 18.99
Four Vines Zinfandel 12.99
Taymente Cabernet Sauvignon 13.99
Felino Vina Cobos Cabernet Sauvignon 19.99
Bogle Phantom Zinfandel Blend 20.99
Duckhorn Decoy Cabernet Blend 22.99