I have been a loyal watcher of the Oscars for decades. Some years it has been a very entertaining show with great nominations. Other years it has fallen flat on performances and award winners. Either way I am usually there watching. I must confess I love seeing what everyone is wearing from the glamourous to the “what was he/she thinking.” This year’s 88th annual Academy Awards has been marred with controversy over lack of diversity in nominees. I also feel many of the nominations this year are not as exciting as they have been in previous years. Moreover, other than Star Wars I do not feel there was a particularly captivating movie or big release this year. However, I suspect Chris Rock will be a great host and I cannot wait to watch his opening.
One thing that adds substance to any four hour awards show is a great bottle of wine! Therefore I have rounded up a few good bottles to share with you to add some pizzazz to your Oscar night!
Columbia Crest 2013 Grand Estate Unoaked Chardonnay: 99% Chardonnay, 1% Riesling; soft yellow in the glass; lively citrus notes with orchard fruit, touch of grassy notes; crisp and clean on the palate, straight forward flavors with round acidity and a long, crisp finish; 13.5% alcohol; stainless steel fermentation 14-20 days; 89pts Wine Advocate; widely distributed and available; SRP $12.
Balletto 2014 Rosé of Pinot Noir Russian River Valley: 100% Pinot Noir; bright salmon in the glass; strawberries, cherries, and pronounced lime zest; lively on the palate with crisp acidity and a clean finish; 100% estate grown and bottled; stainless steel fermentation; 13.2% alcohol; Balletto’s Rosé philosophy: “Rose should be that wonderful, joyful wine thats light, pretty and full of life. To coax the most complexity and balance from our pinot, we whole-cluster press 75 percent of the blend and bleed off 25 percent from our regular fermentation. The combination of the two methods gives the best of both styles. The whole-cluster portion makes the framework with acidity and minerality. The bleeds from the fermenters fill in the middle with bright fruit and texture. Together, they create the whole picture.” SRP $18.
Balletto 2012 Brut Rosé Méthode Traditionnelle Russian River Valley: 2nd vintage; soft salmon in the glass; light yet persistent perlage with a mousse like mouth-feel; rose petals, strawberries, cherries and a touch of yeast; lively and crisp on the palate; a great wine to sip and enjoy or pair with a large variety of food; popcorn anyone?; crafted in the Méthode Traditionnelle just like Champagne. SRP $42.
Hahn SLH 2013 Pinot Noir Santa Lucia Highlands: 100% Pinot Noir; ruby with scarlet highlights in the glass; cherries, currants, cranberries, cedar; spice, and savory herbal notes, touch of cola; velvety texture on the palate; with persistent spice notes, mouth-coating acidity, ample tannins and long finish; Wine Spectator 92 point Smart Buy recommendation; 93pts Wine Enthusiast; 14.5% alcohol; Widely distributed; SRP $30
Maddalena 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon Paso Robles: 100% Cabernet Sauvignon; deep garnet in the glass; black cherries, plums, currants, spice notes, toasted walnuts, tobacco, mocha and espresso; round and smooth on the palate with well-integrated acidity and tannins; lingering dry finish with notes of black pepper; 14.5% alcohol; SRP $15.95
Justin 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon Paso Robles: 100% Cabernet Sauvignon; deep garnet in the glass; black fruit of cherries, plums, currants and raspberries, along with spice notes, tobacco, espresso, dark chocolate, pepper and vanilla; textural on the palate with layers of flavors and complexities; rich and round with well integrated tannins and well-structured acidity creating a mouth-coating, lingering finish; 14 months in American oak barrels, 25% new; 14.9% alcohol; widely distributed, SRP $26.25; Wine Enthusiast Magazine Star Awards Winery of the Year!
I hope out of these six choices at least one finds its way into your glass on Sunday for the 88th Annual Academy Awards. I certainly encourage you to try them all, even enjoying a few with different courses while you watch what will most likely be a four hour event. Please let me know your favorite nominees in the various categories. I am pulling for Leonardo even though I have not yet seen his movie The Revenant. I want to see it but know it is going to be a tough view. I have enjoyed Leo since “What’s Eating Gilbert Grape;” I hope this is finally his year for gold!
My Song Selection: For my song pairing I have chosen one of my favorites from the list of this year’s nominees. Which song nominated is your favorite?
Get your own wine for the Oscars and let me know what song you pair with it. Cheers!