San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Choosing Wines for Christmas Turkey

EVEN non-oenophiles know red wines go with red meat and white wines go with white meat. But turkey has a middle-ofthe- road flavor – stronger than chicken, but not really a steak. The consensus among wine connoisseurs, therefore, is for light red wines or hearty whites. For something with more class than a box of Clos from the nearest Más x Menos, local wine merchants offered The Tico Times their opinions on which wines might go best with your Christmas turkey.


PABLO Carnevale of the Grupo Pampa wine shop in the western San José district of Pavas recommends Californian wines for a traditional U.S. meal. His assortment of Robert Mondavi, Woodbridge and Sutter Home reds and whites will go well with turkey, he said. He suggests the Robert Mondavi private selection merlot – fruity with a medium body – for ¢9,900 ($20.30).


In zinfandels, he suggests the Woodbridge – fruity, earthy and medium-bodied – for ¢5,300 ($10.90) or the Sutter Home for ¢4,700 ($9.65). All three are light and lend themselves to turkey, he said, which is an adaptable bird and can even make a white wine go down well. He suggests the Mondavi chardonnay, a robust white, for ¢16,000 ($32.85). For bigger spenders, he recommends the Mondavi Carneros Merlot for ¢31,000 ($63.65).


Carnevale said he will extend a 10% discount for mentioning this article. For information, call 296-0797 or 296-2736, or visit www.


ALEXANDER Aglietti of La Nacional wine shop in Zapote, in southeastern San José, recommends two Chilean and two French wines with a Christmas turkey meal. His Chilean picks are from Santa Rita: the 2002 cabernet sauvignon – an intensely red, medium-bodied wine with an aroma of dark fruit, vanilla and spices from the barrel in which it aged – and the 2003 sauvignon blanc, touted as a strong wine with intense aromas of citrus fruit flowers and a “long, persisent finish.”


Both wines cost ¢5,920 ($12.15) per bottle, and La Nacional is offering a special boxed set of one of each for ¢9,650 ($19.80). From the French, Aglietti suggests the Côtes-du-Rhône red and white by Bouchard Aîné & Fils. The red is toted as a vivid red with complex aromas of blackberries, rich and tannic – a fruity and smooth wine. The white smells herby and floral and tastes fresh and vigorous.


“The French wine we have is the best alternative in French wine in terms of price and quality,” Aglietti said. “They make it especially for us. It’s very, very good.” For information, call La Nacional at 227-9494 or 227-9393.


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