Wine after the holiday feast?

Porto Kopke Tawny

We may not welcome the season’s wintry blasts, but there’s a lot to be said for festive holiday food and wine. With Thanksgiving coming up, quickly followed by the winter holidays, we’re looking at Wines for a Holiday Feast in this month’s Wine Focus in our WineLovers Discussion Group.

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Porto Kopke NV Fine Tawny Port ($17.99)

Porto Kopke

Very dark purple, a tawny in style, but masquerading as a ruby by sight. Good tawny style on the nose, though, fresh cracked walnuts and a hint of brown sugar. More fruit on the palate, dark plums, brown sugar and a fresh, zippy lemon-squirt of acidity that keeps its sweetness in balance; 18.5% alcohol is typical for a tawny, a warming potion for a wintry evening. Very nice after-dinner wine, without the subtlety of a fine vintage Port, perhaps, but plenty of flavor interest to make it a fine value at this price well below $20.

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Also featured this week: Alvear NV Montilla-Moriles Medium Dry Pedro Ximenez ($14.99) Read article.

Bouchard Père & Fils 2013 “Réserve” Bourgogne Pinot Noir ($20.99)

Bouchard Bourgogne Pinot Noir

Clear ruby color, with bright reddish-purple glints against the light. Simple but fresh aromas, a gentle touch of black cherry and a hint of “tomato skin,” that pleasant, tangy character that I often find in subtle-style Pinot Noirs. Mouth-watering and refreshing, simple cherry-berry fruit shaped by snappy acidity that lingers; stony minerality and a pleasant whiff of freshly ground black pepper when you swish the wine in your mouth. A simple wine, not to be mistaken for a high-end Burgundy, but it shows decent Bourgogne Pinot character at an introductory level for a fair price.

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Cascina La Ghersa 2013 “Piagé” Barbera d’Asti ($14.99)

Cascina La Ghersa

Ruby in color, rather light, clear but not transparent. Simple red-fruit aromas, cranberry perhaps, with a back note of fresh green herbs. Dry and tart on the palate, red-fruit flavors follow the nose, crisp, palate-cleansing acidity, food-friendly 13% alcohol, and a softly bitter note of tannins joining tart berries in the finish. U.S. importer: Vanguard Wines, Columbus, Ohio.

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Cleto Chiarli “Vecchia Modena Premium” Lambrusco di Sorbara Secco ($13.99)

Cleto Chiarli nv "Vecchia Modena Premium" Lambrusco di Sorbara

Pull off the plastic clip that holds down its fun, mushroom-shaped cap, and this wine opens with a pop and pours with a short-lived fizz. Clear, light reddish orange, fading to watery pale at the edge, almost a rosé. Very attractive red-berry scents, a pleasant mix of raspberries and strawberries. Red fruit on the palate follows the nose, with more carbonation in the mouthfeel than you see in the glass. Fresh, crisp acidity and a distinct note of pleasant but perceptible bitterness in the finish. Interesting sipping wine, light and gulpable at 11% alcohol, clean and palate-cleansing in the long, fresh finish.

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