Grape Expectations – December 2012

Grape Expectations

By Robert Kleffel and Noemí Paz

Holiday Happiness



Roberto-y-NoemiSo what is it about the holidays that seem to make people happier? The answer is at the end of this article.

Cheers and Toasting—Nothing gets a party started faster than a glass or two of champagne. All those little bubbles are loaded with alcohol that goes directly to our blood stream causing us to feel happy, very happy, very soon.

Cava Res.Brut CARLA VALLFORMOSA 750 ml $360.00—The Cava was introduced in 1970, in a move designed both to hallmark Spain’s best sparkling wines and distinguish Cava from French Champagne. The word cava is derived from the Latin word ‘cavea’ and means ‘cellar’ or ‘cave’ in Catalonia, where most Cava is made. The Catalan tradition of ageing wines in underground cellars was what led Jose Raventos, the first known producer of Cava, to choose this name.

This sparkling wine is golden straw in color, the nose offers up apples, subtle spice with a hint of lemon. It feels rich in the mouth, but yet elegant and cleansing.   Rated: 88 Points

The Main Meal—No matter what you are serving for your main meal, it is best to have both red and white wines. Many have strong preference and some may be allergic to the tannins in red wine.

Don NicanorMalbec 750 ml $282.50 —This is a wine for true red wine lovers. Black as they come, with saturated, jammy aromas of sweet berry fruit, blackberry syrup and toasty oak. The palate is lush and chewy, with black fruit, spice and herbal flavors. Toasty and black on the finish and is a big wine with plentiful oak as well as purity.

Don Nicanor Chardonnay -Viognier 750 ml $282.50—Chardonnay wines are very popular white wines but are not as food friendly as other choices. The addition of the Viognier to this wine allows pairing with many foods. Yellow in color with a green iridescence, the nose displays aromas of white flowers and peaches, perfectly matched with the vanilla acquired from French oak aging. In the mouth it is voluptuous, but remains fresh and easy to drink.

Vino de Postre—LA CETTO Moscatell Palomino 750 ml   $ 149.00

The Muscat variety of grapes of the species Vitisvinifera is widely grown for wine, raisins and table grapes. Their color ranges from white to near black. Muscat almost always has a pronounced sweet floral aroma. Muscat grapes are grown around the world. The breadth and number of varieties of muscat suggest that it is perhaps the oldest domesticated grape variety, and there are theories that most families within the Vitisvinifera grape variety are descended from the Muscat variety.

Happiness and Holidays—It has been only in the last thirty years that universities have attempted to “scientifically” study human happiness. One thing that the scientists found out, which surprised almost everyone, is that about fifty percent of our propensity for happiness is inherited, embedded in our DNA. For the record, about seventy-five percent describe themselves as being happy. Some of the traditional beliefs about the sources of our happiness include being thankful, being kind and generous to other people, and being involved in our communities. It turns out that the primary source of human happiness comes from the strength of our relationships with our friends and families. Friends and family are closely bonded, take care of each other, and they survive, and their children survive. There is a direct correlation between human happiness and the number of hours you spend each day with people you love. It’s time to invite friends and family over for good food and fine wine.

Noemi Paz:                                                                          

Robert Kleffel:





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