Charlie Opines About Wine

In my search for interesting wines to serve to guests at our Cape Cod Bed and Breakfast, I attend many planned and impromptu wine tastings. I am happy to share my experiences with you. It's a tough job but someone has to do it.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Spirits of Christmas in Sandwich, MA

Charlie’s Weekly Wine-ings
In the Spirit of Christmas!!!

‘It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas…’ well maybe not so much based on the weather here at our Sandwich bed and breakfast. No snow yet and another week of 50 plus degree temperatures. I think I am starting to like this global warming stuff. In spite of the weather, our historic Village is decked out for our annual celebration of Holly Days In Sandwich. This is a two-week-long event that kicks off with the tree lighting and carol sing on the first Friday of December. The town tree is across the street from the end of our driveway and the carol sing is around the corner at the First Church of Christ.

During December our quests enjoy partaking of the free festivities and we also have a weekend Christmas Package that includes tickets to ‘Gardens Aglow’ at the Heritage Museum and a special Wine and Food tasting at the Inn. You knew we would have to work wine into this somehow. Jan titled the package ‘In the Spirit’, for both the spirit of the holidays and the spirits, wine, that I like to serve our guest. I pick the wine and Jan prepares the food parings.   

I think celebrations and sparkling wines are made for each other, so I started our tasting with a Botter Prosecco, NV. Botter is a small family-owned Italian winery that has produced wines since the early 1900s. A non-vintage, NV, means they blend wines from different years to produce a predictable taste from year to year. Prosecco is to Italy, what Champagne is to France, and I think it is a great sparkling wine to start a holiday tasting.   

Some of my guests were from California, so I felt pressure as I presented some my favorite California wines from my cellar. We next went to a Mount Eden 2007 Edna Valley Chardonnay, Wolf Vineyard. Mount Eden Vineyards is located in Saratoga, CA south of San Francisco in the Santa Cruz Mountains’ appellation. I tasted this wine a year ago at a Cellar 55 tasting and loved it. I have not tasted their 2008s yet, but a Mount Eden Chardonnay was rated 95 points by Wine Spectator and chosen as the 13th best wine of their Top 100 Wines of the Year 2011. I was very pleased that our California guests liked it and I am anxious to try some of the 2008s. With the two white wines, food wise we severed Lemon Humus with Flax Pita Bread and crab cakes.

As a smooth transition, I move from the California Chardonnay to a California Point Noir, the 2008 Ceja Carneros Pinot Noir. Ceja Vineyards is located in Carneros and we had the great pleasure of visiting the origianl winery in 2006 and meeting the entire Ceja family. I have been a wine club member for five years and am always happy to share these wines with guest, ususally East Coast guest, but this time even Californias who have never expereinced this great Piont. Jan prepared a wonderful bruschetta with pesto and mozzarello cheese on a Italian bread to serve with the Pinot.

I had selected another red to serve, but the caroling was starting and we all rushed to see the tree lighting. I’ll keep this last red to serve next weekend as we gladly do this all over again. Holly Days is a special time in Sandwich and we have an In the Spirit Christmas package if you would like to join us at our Cape Cod bed and breakfast.
Happy Wine-ing This Holiday Season

Charlie Preus, the Innkeeper’s Assistant and Wine Steward at the 1750 Inn at Sandwich Center, Sandwich, Cape Cod Massachusetts


  1. Noreen would have loved this 2008 Ceja Carneros Pinot Noir! Glad the tree lighting was good. Sorry we missed it.

  2. This is one of the most informative information I've read. It really helps a lot. Thanks for sharing this and teaching some of your Idea's


Thanks for reading Cape Cod Wine Time. Wishing you great Wine-ing.