Eat This Drink That: 2021 Holiday wine round up + recap

eat this drink that podcast
December 28, 2021

French wines(and one Spanish) defined my holiday meals this year.

As I look at back my holiday meals I felt like I leveled up to fancy restaurant status. And that was in so small part because of these wine pairings. This line up of food friendly wines deserve a spot at your holiday table.

  • Gigondas
  • Aligoté
  • Bordeaux
  • Beaujolais Cru
  • Cava

And not one bottle broke the $50 price mark.

The most expensive bottle, the Bordeaux(2018 Chateau Labegorce Margaux) cost $45. The cheapest was the Cava(Segura Viudas) cost $7. The rest of the bottles hovered around $30. That’s an average cost of $28 a bottle. And when you consider the quality, that’s very respectable.

Time to tackle each bottle and talk about what to eat with what you’re drinking.

2019 Domaine Notre Dame des Pallieres Gigondas

2019 Domaine Notre Dame des Pallieres Gigondas

What you’re drinking:

A red wine from the Southern Rhone in France. The grapes are a typical blend for that region.

What you’re eating with:

Peter Luger Rib steak

Steak cooked on the grill

I paired this with a dry aged bone in ribeye steak cooked over open flame. It was fantastic. As was a Tomahawk Pork Chop. Gigondas naturally goes well with cheese and cured meats as well.

“Bang for your Buck” aka The Ali rating:

I ended up buying this wine three times over. I absolutely fell for this Gigondas and priced at $30, and I would very much recommend you try this out. For the region, it is a fair price. I haven’t been this into a wine this much since my California Pinot phase in the mid 2000s. (thx Sideways)

2019 Domaine Rougeot Bourgogne ‘Les Plumes’ Aligote

2019 Domaine Rougeot Bourgogne 'Les Plumes' Aligote

What you’re drinking:

A white from Burgundy, France. Made from the Aligote grape. This wine is hyped by real wine heads/snobs etc.

What you’re eating with:

Meat and cheese board.

I originally bought this wine as the white accompaniment for Thanksgiving dinner. That involved charcuterie like what you see above plus a pork rib roast cooked over open flame. It worked wonders when paired with . . . salami. Seriously.

“Bang for your Buck” aka The Ali rating:

While priced just north of $30, this wine isn’t for everyone. Its got a funk to it, not exactly the white wine to quench your thirst on a hot day. Is it worth a try just because the wine heads love it? The short answer is no until you become a wine head that gets easily bored. I do like this wine but I would approach with caution. Dropping $30 to be different is not bang for your wine buck in my book.

2019 Domaine Chignard Julienas Beauvernay Beaujolais Cru

2019 Domaine Chignard Julienas Beauvernay Beaujolais Cru

What you’re drinking:

A Beaujolais Cru. This wine is from Beaujolais France, made from the Gamay grape. Often you hear about Beaujolais Nouveau around Thanksgiving as it is a harvest wine. Don’t confuse the two. Cru is the good stuff and this goes for around $25-$30. Tastes like a light Pinot Noir.

What you’re eating with:

Ora King Salmon + roasted root vegetables

I originally bought this wine to pair with Holiday ham and it worked great. I had enough left over for my following dinner: slow roasted Ora King Salmon. They say Gamay(the grape that makes up Beaujolais) loves food and I absolutely found this to be true. This wine is easy going and will get you to look at Beaujolais in a whole new way.

“Bang for your Buck” aka The Ali rating:

I want to say I paid $30 for this wine but the internet is pricing it at $25. At $25 this is a total bang for your buck wine. At $30 it’s more about the competition. I need to buy another bottle of this wine again soon, that’s for sure.

2018 Chateau Labegorce Margaux Bordeaux

2018 Chateau Labegorce Margaux Bordeaux

What you’re drinking:

The good stuff, freaking Bordeaux. Chateau Labegorce is a classic Bordeaux blend of mostly Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, and a touch of Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. The internet says the “drinking window”is 2023-2040. My God did this taste smooth a few nights ago.

What you’re eating with:

Reverse sear plated

Surprise! It’s more steak. I will say I chose this plate of carved bone in ribeye plus the lobster, creamed spinach and mashed potatoes to illustrate that this wine is mellow and can handle a range of flavor sensations. From intense beef, to buttery mashed potatoes, and shellfish languishing in parmesan spiked creamed spinach, you’ll find that the Chateau Labegorce plays well with so many types of rich foods. I’d try wine out with a Cacio e Pepe with shaved truffles or Carbonara.

“Bang for your Buck” aka The Ali rating:

$45 ain’t cheap but neither is Bordeaux. Yes, you can find bottles for cheaper but they can disappoint. This Margaux is the real deal and I would buy this again just to age and see how it evolves. It’s an affordable special occasion wine and it was freaking smooth AF.

Segura Viudas Brut Reserva Cava

Segura Viudas Brut Reserva Cava

What you’re drinking:

Cava is Spain’s answer to Champagne and for a lot less dough. This sparkling wine is made from Macabeo grapes, has won numerous awards and is cheap as hell. Full disclosure: Segura sent me a bunch of bottles but I’ve paid more for barbecue sauce. This one costs me $7.

What you’re eating with:

Whatever you want. The general rule of thumb is that sparkling pairs with anything. I found myself drinking this at the beginning of the meal and after. It’s crisp, quenching and elegant on it’s own and with food.

“Bang for your Buck” aka The Ali rating:

I mean . . . cmon $7 is as cheap as it gets. One review I read online said “why spend more?” and that is apt. I really like the sparkling rosé as well which runs like $8. There is a reserva called Heredad that costs like $20. Honestly I couldn’t tell the difference. But at these prices, you can easily find out for yourself.

The last word

Look, all of these wines are great and from there you can decide what you want to spend. The Segura is so cheap you can’t not try it and the Labegorce is so smooth I wouldn’t bat an eye at it’s almost $50 price tag. The Gigondas is what I fell in love with and that’s the region I’ll digging into for a bit. I was told this wine loves smokey steaks and I’m always grilling so how could I not go for more of these?

For more wine info check out my podcast, Eat This Drink That on Spotify and Apple Podcasts + YouTube.

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