My favorite things: 2010’s memorable wines

Every New Year’s Eve, while I should be coming up with life-changing resolutions, one idea that always pops into my mind has to do with the quality of wines I enjoy during the month of December…. but not, or not as frequently, in the other eleven months. More friends over, more worthwhile occasions, sure….. I would bet most of you open your better bottles during the Holidays, and probably more of them, too.

Which leads me to my top wine of 2010….I opened quite a few nice Burgundies this December, but I think I will choose my top wines of the vintage from earlier in the year, since the better wines are less frequent, and just maybe a little more memorable because of it.

Best white wine of 2010…..

1996 Jacques Prieure Chevalier-Montrachet. I had been saving this 14 year old chardonnay for quite some time, and the opportunity to pull the cork came one evening with Jim Greeley, Wine Super at ABC. We paired it with some fresh shrimp sautéed with a splash of the wine, some garlic, olive oil and saffron. Beautiful wine, powerful and elegant, as good as one could expect chardonnay to be, although it faded rather quickly, and the next morning it could have passed for a good sherry!

Best red wine of 2010…..

2001 Chateau Cheval-Blanc. I opened many wonderful reds in the past year, some with pedigrees alongside that of Cheval Blanc, but this one bottle really stood out. A friend of mine and I shared it over lunch a few months back, at a sidewalk café in Kissimmee, just south of Orlando. We sat outside, since the weather was perfect, and had it with shrimp salad. The wine was fresh and alive, just the right temperature so the cabernet franc simply jumped from the glass. Balanced and elegant, yet powerful…everything in place. It is wine like this that keeps us coming back.

–Shayne Hebert, Wine Supervisor, Central/Coastal Florida

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