November is a tough month, we are getting our winter “skin” on as the weather gets colder, but we are also between Thanksgiving and the holiday season, so there are plenty of opportunities to get together with friends this month.

This seems like the sort of month to remember that we are all better together, and so for your enjoyment, below are pairs of offerings from some great producers from around the globe, to enjoy with a friend or two.

Jordan 2012 Chardonnay

Oh, where has this been all my life? Balanced, beautiful chardonnay rife with tropical fruits, a little creaminess, and perfect balance, making this too good to be a quaffer, but you’ll still notice your glass emptied without knowing. I’d happily drink this now, but you can age it for a while too. As for food? Seared scallops, halibut, or even a creamy alfredo sauce. About $50-55 CSPC +277897

Jordan 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon

Top-shelf cabernet, proving Jordan has the one-two punch down pat. Both their chardonnay and cabernet are made for drinking and pairing with food, but even by itself the cab shows all those great varietal characters you expect. Tannins are silken and fruits are so well integrated (12 months barrel and a further 21 months bottle aging) it’s almost a shame to be drinking it now. This would be pretty spectacular with anything that once mooed. $75-80 CSPC +365577

Luce 2011

An undertaking between Robert Mondavi and the Marchesi Frescobaldi, this is a wonderful wine bridging both new and old worlds. Intensity is too small a word, but look for layers of black fruit, spice, herb and a little heat, plum, and cherry cola. Drink or keep, but anything with loads of protein will work here on the table. Wow, this was good. Around $100 CSPC +701977

Lucente 2011

Tuscany, Italy
The second wine of Luce, but still “top- shelf.” Aromas are of smoked cherry, cranberry, tobacco, spice box, plum, and liquorice. Tannins are firmish, supporting good solid fruits. A bit more of a food-required wine than Luce, maybe pair with slow cooked pork, meaty sauces, or firm cheese. About $40-45 CSPC +519421

Paolo Conterno 2012

Langhe Nebbiolo, Piedmont, Italy
Bursting with lush fruits in the raspberry and currant spectrum while the tannins are well integrated and balanced, making the whole package a treat. Like any good wine, it begs for food, and something with braised beef, or the meatiest tomato sauce you can cook up. $23 CSPC +741110

Bartier Bros. 2011 The Goal

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia
Merlot with about 10% cabernet franc, this bottle is showing very well this fall. Crushed raspberry and plum fruit with wood box, black pepper spice, and some well-integrated tannins. A pleasure to drink, especially when those raspberries show up on the finish. Pot roasts, prime rib, or lamb would work well here. $36 CSPC +164608

Elio Altare 2013 Dolcetto d’Alba

Piedmont, Italy
I have a weakness for dolchetto. I love the plump, lush fruits with their slightly jammy edge. I really like that they can be enjoyed ever-so-slightly chilled, and their tannins lend a nice weight without being bitter. Finally, I love how great they are with homemade pizza, or a little charcuterie. Drink now! Around $30 CSPC +725399

Paolo Conterno 2013 “Bricco”

Barbera D’Alba, Piedmont, Italy
A wine to savour and enjoy anytime. Peppery spices with dried sage, thyme, and black cherries on the nose, with silken textures and a long finish. Drink now or keep, but either way it will shine with pork or lamb-based dishes. $18-19 CSPC +703812

La Escapada NV Cava Demi Sec

Catalunya, Spain
A refreshing expression of cava. A little residual sweetness dials back the acidity cava is known for, while apple peel, citrus, and a lemony finish round it out. Very well-priced for quality sparkling wine. I’d be happy to drink this on its own, but it would be great to enjoy with a little citrus either in a starter or dessert. About $14 CSPC +767614

Elio Altare 2011 Barolo

Piedmont, Italy
Elio Altare is one of the “Barolo Boys”, those visionaries of Piedmont who have been making “modern” barolos in this tradition-rich region. Their Barolo is sourced from four communes with two years of barrel aging showing hints of chocolate and kirsch, while complex fruits and tannins are fantastic. Waaay too young to drink now, buy and keep 10+ years. About $100-110 CSPC +776918

Bartier Bros. 2012 Illegal Curve

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia
A funky blend based around cabernet franc with syrah and a little merlot, the nose is decidedly spicy with very well integrated fruits showing a certain… purity. Good fruits in the mouth, while tannins have a determined firmness around them. No matter, you’ll want this with braised meats, burgers, or maybe some ribs smothered in sauce. $23 CSPC +444273

La Escapada NV Cava Rose

Catalunya, Spain
Engaging on nose and palate with dried strawberries, herb, and biscuit in abundance. Pleasantly toasty on the palate with a richness that screams out for another glass. Quite dry, it should be very versatile with anything from pork shoulder to homemade pizza. Delicious. $14-15 CSCP +767614

Pin It on Pinterest