The Substance Guide To:Holiday 2020 Wine Pairings

Ready or Not, it’s The Holiday Season!

An incredible Thanksgiving spread, on a table, seen from above. Turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, stuffing, green beans, pumpkins, and most importantly -- wine! Two bottles and some glasses of red/white wine are seen too.

Whether donning a ‘festive’ sweater to get the gang together* or by taping an antler on your pup prepping for Grinch mode, it’s here. No matter how you feel about this time of year, an inarguable perk is a plethora of opportunities to stuff our faces with delicious foods. From traditional turkey and pie to sugar dusted cookies and those weird crab cakes puffs my aunt passes off as appetizers, ‘tis eating season.

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SIXTO: Resurrection & Realization

What do you do when you discover some old, abandoned Chardonnay vineyards essentially right in your backyard?

Four bottles of Sixto chardonnay
The Celebrated SIXTO Chardonnay Lineup

Not just any vineyards, either – these had been planted in mixed limestone, much like those of classic Burgundian wines, such as Puligny-Montrachet. Well, if you’re Charles Smith, the answer is obvious: you make great wine with it.

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Harvest of a Lifetime

A beautiful photo showing purple wine grapes lie upon some leaves on the dirt and a snake's shedded skin is atop the grapes. Green grapes in the background.Grapes and Snakes at the Powerline Vineyard, Washington State

“We finished crush Monday, so now we have to press…”

VP of Winemaking and Viticulture Brennon Leighton told me the other day. “Everyone is tired, but things have been great – it went extremely well.”

Yes, harvest 2020 is slowly winding down, tying a tight, juicy bow on what could have been a messy year. Despite numerous obstacles — COVID, wildfires, climate change — our Washington vineyards made it through not just unscathed, but actually better than expected.

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Sometimes Things Just Name Themselves

One sniff sets my mind a reeling! Vintage Chanel bag with broken cigarette, N°5 perfume, lipstick and a few loose coins… My heart!
Chapter two. As the aromas lift, I can’t turn the page fast enough. Black plum, cool ash, velvet drapes, dense yet airy with room for everything…
The texture as smooth as the pages of a well-aged book. Truly poetry. My poem.”

With descriptors like these from a man like Charles Smith, how can you not be intrigued?

A beautiful photo of the Stoneridge vineyard. Blue skies with white clouds sit above rolling mountains and green grape vines

Charles’ wines have never been for the faint of, well, heart, and his Heart and Skull Syrahs are no different.

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For The Hidden, X Marks the Spot

A seductive photo of two bottles of The Hidden Syrah, in low light, showing off their white capsule on top of the bottle and brush-stroked giant "K" on the front label of the bottle.

Many K wines feature the bold, black ‘K’ logo on a white front label, but none quite so elegantly as the The Hidden’s broad brush strokes.

Sustainably grown in the Northridge Vineyard, high on the Wahluke Slope, the elevation’s cooler temperatures delay ripening and draw out complexity in the wine. Northridge is located in an oasis at the base of foothills – the vineyard itself seems “hidden,” in that it looks to be arid land as far as you can see.

It’s not until you’re right on top of it that the lush, green vineyard is revealed.

100% Syrah, The Hidden is inherently powerful by nature but reveals itself with grace, a trait that was, along with the location, taken into consideration in the label design.

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