Wines for Your Holiday Table

Happy Holidays to all! I have now completed my first year back after a four-year hiatus. It has certainly been a quick and exhilarating year. I have rekindled relationships that go back to the opening of the Clubhouse and made numerous more relationships from our newer members. I have spent time with young adults that were just little tykes. I have spent time with little tykes that I bounced as babies to allow the parents time to eat. And lastly, I miss young teens that have moved on to future endeavors beyond the Club. One thing has remained constant!  This is the best Club to be at and you, the members, are a delight to serve.

By Jeffrey Cohen

Jeff-2-Final-0418For this holiday season — the season for sharing and giving back — we will be introducing some great wineries that are philanthropic and donate to different and important causes. South African golfer Retief Goosen has a line of wine called “Goose.” Retief established the Gaanzies (Little Geese) School. The school is located on the wine farm and is completely funded by Retief with no tuition or government subsidies. This particular valley has no public or private schooling and most residents have no electricity or water sanitation. Gaanzies accepts children from six months up to six years old. Monday through Friday, children receive two nutritional meals and basic medical and health services as necessary. A portion of proceeds generated from wine purchases will help fund efforts and needs to the Gaanzies School.

The J. Lohr winery marks its tenth year with its partnership with the National Breast Cancer Foundation, Inc. The Touching Lives initiative began when the Lohr family designated the J. Lohr Carol’s Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon a commemorative release in honor of founder Jerry Lohr’s late wife. Carol Lohr passed away in 2008 due to complications from breast cancer. Since the program’s inception, sales from this wine have supported early breast cancer detection, access to mammograms, patient navigation systems and the delivery of HOPE kits (a gift box of comforting items) to women undergoing their treatment. These programs continue to build on a partnership that has funded over 6,500 mammograms for women who otherwise would not be able to receive them.

To get us ready for the holidays and all of the wonderful feasts that we will be sharing, I would like to give some pairings and offerings that might enhance your meals. The challenge to recommending pairings is the absolute endless ways that turkeys, ducks and geese can be prepared. I will try my best but remember that there absolutely is no wrong pairing because it is 100 percent subjective. 

With a basic seasoned and buttered turkey, I would say to drink the style of chardonnay that you enjoy the most. For a buttery-oaky style, Rombauer is always a favorite. If you like more of an Old World-style chardonnay, a wine from Pouilly-Fuissé or Puligny-Montrachet will be a great choice as well. Some wine experts will send you to Germany for a nice dry Riesling. If you choose this, make sure and save some to enjoy with the apple pie. If your tradition is to stuff your bird with oyster stuffing, you will enjoy a nice acidic chardonnay from Chablis. William Fevre comes to mind. If you are the one that enjoys all of the sides (yams, cranberries, mashed potatoes), let’s jump into the reds with a fantastic Pinot Noir such as Bella Glos.

For a smoked turkey, I would start out with a red from the get-go. You can still do Pinot Noir but if you’re wanting to try something different, grab a Grenache from Australia. It is still light enough to not overpower but will stand up to the smoking. I always enjoy a Merlot so that would be my pick. One of my favorites is made by Pahlmeyer in the Napa Valley. If in fact you are a “100% Cabernet all of the time” type, try a nice Cabernet from Washington State that tends to be a bit softer. Canvasback Cabernet is a newer wine from the Duckhorn family and from Washington.

Now, if your heads are spinning just a little bit, I understand and am sorry.

Sometimes in the Dining Room when asked to pair a wine with your meals and the choices selected are quite diverse, you might see my eyes sink up into my head. This is what is happening to me. I am processing……and I truly enjoy it.

From My Family to Yours, have a remarkable and memorable Holiday Season!

Jeffrey Cohen is the Wine Specialist for The Clubs of Cordillera Ranch. He can be reached at



Welcome to the World of Wines!

Whether you are a wine aficionado, a novice wanting to explore and learn more about wine, or simply, like most of us, someone who just loves to drink wine….. the Cellar Club at The Clubs of Cordillera Ranch is here for you.

The Cellar Club offers exclusive preferred benefits to our Members who desire a well-rounded wine experience. Our mission is to create a Club community of wine enthusiasts along with the convenience of purchasing wines direct from the Club’s Pre-sale Wine Shop (In order to comply with TABC regulations, the retail selling of wine is located in the Club’s Tennis Center). Competitive retail pricing is offered on all wines sold in the Wine Shop, however, additional preferred pricing is offered exclusively to Cellar Club Members. Cellar Club Members benefit from our Club’s purchasing power to access incredible deals on some of the best wines available. 

Cellar Club Members Benefits:

  20% off Club Wine List Inventory
  20% off Wine Dinners
  New release tastings
  Preferred pricing at our Pre-sale Wine Shop
  Exclusive access to incredible vendor deals
  Access to Highly Allocated Wines
  Private consultations to help fill your home wine cellar

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