Another new feature to the blog will be ideas for pairing wine with music. Thought it appropriate to begin by looking at the holiday season that is upon us, and the thousand versions of Christmas tunes that will continue to plague us for another week yet, every time we set foot into a retail establishment.
Don’t get me wrong. I love Christmas music. And I am especially delighted with the resurgence of “classic carols” – Christmas tunes sung by the stars of the 50’s and 60’s. I was an early adaptor of the Ultra Lounge Christmas Cocktails series – my favorite of the three discs is Pt2 Christmas Cocktails Ultra – which feature singers such as Dean Martin, Peggy Lee, Lou Rawls and Billy May. This year these versions of the Christmas classics seemed to be everywhere, calming and charming us as we frantically sought gifts, and I am happy for it. Beats Mariah Carey, or – God forbid – Celine Dion all to hell. I loved these tunes the first time I heard them – instant comfort, and I’m not sure why. This has to be related to the fact that the first time I heard a Louis Prima greatest hits disc, I knew every song by heart, but none of my family had ever heard of him. Must be from a past life of mine, somehow…
But I digress. What wine best matches hip Christmas tunes from the 50’s? My instant thinking is that I need ice and a good Scotch, or perhaps a very dry martini, but since this is a wine blog, the next best thing would be something light and grapey, frothy if possible. The perfect fit for this would be a Batasiolo Moscato D’Asti.
This is a favorite of mine in the summer, but it works well for the holidays, too. The 2008 is light and sweet, with peach and honey tones, along with – surprise of surprise – sweet green grapes on the palate! Muscat is one of the few grapes that actually expresses grapiness in wine. And this is a lovely expression of it – medium bodied in spite of the slight fritz, and low in alcohol which makes it a good one to share with your guests who need to get home by vehicle. Good as an aperitif on its own (too sweet to match well with most foods), or as a dessert wine if you’re having something like fruit, cheese or nuts, that’s not sweeter than the wine is. It’s a crowd pleaser for folks who don’t normally like wine – which was why it sprang to mind in thinking about drinking in the 50’s. Enjoy!