RKS Wine: What to Have with Your New Year’s Eve Repast

Our New Year’s Eve dinner is seafood focused which means white wine is called for given the suggested dishes.

Appetizer: Malpeque oysters

Your white wine selection:

I would go with a Brut or Extra Brut sparkler. Loaded with a good bead of bubbles the aromas are apple, pear, caramel, guava, honey and Brioche. On the palate a good crisp bite of acidity with Flemish pear, sweet white grapefruit with a little wave of applesauce. So the wine is far from one of those non-descript sparkling wines that lets its acids speak more than the fruit.

The wine is organic.

I’ll be looking for more sparkling Ontario Riesling in 2023.

(Tawse 2019 Spark Limestone Ridge Riesling Brut, VQA Twenty Mile Bench, Tawse Winery Inc., Vineland, Ontario, $19.95, Liquor Control Board of Ontario # 370361, 750 mL, 12%, RKS Wine Rating 88/100).

Of course, if you want to go real classic Chablis is a tried-and-true accompaniment to raw oysters so you can try a Charton et Trébuchet Chablis 1ER Cru 2020 which you can pick up at the Liquor Control Board of Ontario for $36.95.

Hyper chilled vodka works very well too and I would go with a Tito’s from Texas.

Second appetizer: Moules Mariniere

Chop up garlic (as much as you want) and scallions and Sautee for a minute throw in a half bottle of dry white and a handful of parsley. Let it cook for a few minutes throw in mussels and cover cooking on medium heat for about 7 minutes until all mussels are open. Serve in a large bowl. Sop up the broth with chunks of baguette.

Your white wine selection:

Muscadet from the Loire region in France is a reliable wine to enhance the flavour of the dish but it is not always that easy to find so I suggest a Mâcon-Lugny made by Cave de Lugny from Burgundy. It is unoaked. Aromatics of pear, apple and quince. On the palate it is definitely a dry wine but not one of those leaving an acidic and meagre profile. The wine has character to it and for an unoaked Chardonnay it has some richness to it in a minimalist way.

(Mâcon-Lugny 2020 Grande Reserve, AC Mâcon-Lugny, Cave de Lugny, Lugny, France, $20.95, Liquor Control Board of Ontario # 26444, 750 mL, 13%, RKS Wine Rating 89/100).

Main: Butter garlic shrimp

Your white wine selection:

I would select a Cave Spring Estate 2019 Chardonnay which is moderately gold in colour. On the nose pineapple, mango, South African tangerine, marzipan and peach with moderate oak notes. On the palate Greaves apricot jam, Sweet Israeli grapefruit, Niagara pear Galette, butterscotch and guava with a peppery finish. Beautifully integrated acids so important to sippable white wines. The oak influence in the wine is moderately high.

(Cave Spring Estate 2019 Chardonnay, Cave Spring Vineyard, VQA Beamsville Bench, Niagara Escarpment, Cave Spring Vineyard, Jordan, Ontario, $19.95, Liquor Control Board of Ontario # 25652, 13.5%, RKS Wine Rating 92/100).

Dessert: Gateaux Verlaine (raspberry mousse, raspberry lychee gelée, lychee crémeux, raspberry rose jam and almond sponge cake)

A good choice would be Southbrook Canadian Framboise. As for aromatics it is replete with just picked ripe raspberries tinged with a miniscule bit of milk chocolate. The palate is silky and smooth with just plain old ripe raspberries with a moderately long finish. Not complex but straightforward and delicious. There is enough acidity to keep this wine from being cloying or sickly sweet.

It is organic and vegan.

(Southbrook Canadian Framboise, Southbrook Vineyards, Niagara-on-the-Lake, $19.95, Liquor Control Board of Ontario # 341024, 750 mL, 13.5% RKS 2023 Wine Rating 94/100).

The bubbly conclusion

To ring in the new year assuming you have the stamina to remain awake I would think the last wine you want is a bone dry brut or extra brut. Given the exorbitant cost of Champagne there is the eminently reliable Pierre Sparr Crémant D’Alsace Brut Rosé. I won’t break the bank at $19.95. There is some very nice strawberry, raspberry and bright red cherry mousse to welcome the year. (Pierre Sparr Crémant D’Alsace Brut Rosé, LCBO # 39016, $19.95)

Happy upcoming 2023. Best of health, happiness and the discovery of a wine that you will not forget!

Published by Robert K Stephen (CSW)

Robert K Stephen writes about food ,drink, travel, film, and lifestyle issues. He also has published serialized novels "Life at Megacorp", "Virus # 26, "Reggie the Egyptian Rescue Dog" and "The Penniless Pensioner" Robert was the first associate member of the Wine Writers’ Circle of Canada. He also holds a Mindfulness Certification from the University of Leiden and the University of Toronto. Be it Spanish cured meat, dried fruit, BBQ, or recycled bamboo place mats, Robert endeavours to escape the mundane, which is why he has established this publication. His motto is, "Have Story, Will Write."

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