Since our founding, Ponzi Vineyards has crafted balanced, terroir-driven wines with pairing in mind. These are food wines, designed to enhance meals shared around the family table. During the holidays, good food, great wine and your favorite company come together, creating memorable celebrations. From our table to yours, here are some perfect pairings to try this holiday season:
Generally, it's best to keep food simple when pairing with wine. "Avoid all together - or judiciously use - strongly flavored herbs, spices and vegetables," advises Nancy Ponzi, Winery Founder and author of The Ponzi Vineyards Cookbook. Holiday dishes tend to follow these rules, so pair away!
Creating a memorable salad pairing relies on taking care not to overwhelm the fresher elements or the wines. Try an assortment of mild greens, and pair with younger, lighter bodied wines like the crisp, high acidity 2016 Ponzi Pinot Gris and fruit forward 2015 Ponzi Tavola Pinot Noir. Stick to clean flavors in the food and the wine, and keep it simple. Save older vintage and bolder wines for later, featured courses. Nancy's philosophy, "I avoid asparagus, artichokes, chilies or sauerkraut and am wary of Brussel sprouts."
A complex, structured and well-balanced Chardonnay will enhance all the flavors in roasted turkey and sides, match the acidity of a squeeze of lemon juice and bond with subtle rosemary, garlic and butter flavors. We recommend the limited production single vineyard cuvée, 2014 Ponzi Aurora Chardonnay with your main course. "Lemon balm, straw and white pepper frame this elegant nose, the palate holds true with dried quince, baked apple interlaced with balanced acidity and a touch of minerality," describes Winemaker Luisa Ponzi.
It's always a good idea to offer a red option with holiday meals, in addition to the supple Chardonnay pairing suggested above. For a truly special pairing, uncork a bottle (or even a magnum) of the gorgeous 2014 Ponzi Abetina Pinot Noir and add a few mushrooms to your gravy. The structure and tannin of this spectacular Pinot noir will stand up to rich sides, without overpowering delicate turkey sweetness. Winemaker Luisa Ponzi describes, "Spicy notes of nutmeg, cinnamon and vanilla on the nose. The mouth follows with bay rum, dark chocolate and cedar notes leading to firm and persistent tannins to finish. Jam packed with everything needed to carry this wine for years."
CHEESE AND WINE
Whether served as a pre-seating appetizer, palate cleanser or in lieu of a final dessert course, a cheese plate presents an excellent opportunity for wine pairing, giving guests a chance to sip your best wines and find their perfect complements. Preparation is simple, giving you time to focus on main dishes. "Generally look for rich, not overly strong or aromatic wine-complementary cheese," suggests Nancy. "Cheese presents a place to showcase your finest wine." Great wines to pair with cheeses include the bright and balanced 2015 Ponzi Riesling (also available in an elegant magnum) and lush 2014 Ponzi Classico Pinot Noir. "If you're lucky enough to enjoy a fine Pinot noir (like the 2014 Ponzi Pinot Noir Reserve), go for a mellow, rind-washed triple cream."
This pairing is easy! Traditional holiday desserts tend to feature fruits and pie spice. Pumpkin and apple pies keep some of the original sweet-tart flavors even after baking. Pair them with lightly sweet dessert wine, like the 2016 Ponzi Vino Gelato. Just in case there's no room for dessert, this wine stands on its own, a sweet finish to a rich meal.
Have fun with your pairings and enjoy the conversations they may start. Happy Holidays!
The ¡Salud! Pinot Noir Auction is an incredible event, pairing world class, one of a kind Pinot noirs with winemakers and buyers to support healthcare for vineyard workers. Here's a quick recap of this year's luncheon at Ponzi Vineyards. Please join us next year!
Second generation Ponzi Winemaker, Luisa Ponzi, sipped one of a kind Willamette Valley Pinot noirs while catching up with some old friends and members of a small number of second generation Oregon winemakers: Elk Cove's Adam Campbell and Sokol Blosser's Alex Sokol Blosser.
Winery President Maria Ponzi greeted guests and made sure the event was comfortable and fun.
Ponzi Associate Winemaker JP Pierce poured 2017 Ponzi ¡Salud! Cuvee in the winery.
With harvest finished for this year, Ponzi Associate Enologist, Annette, and harvest 2017 intern, Meille, enjoyed a well-deserved evening of luxury, hobnobbing with winemakers and choosing their favorite Pinot noirs.
Join us next year for the ¡Salud! Charity Pinot Noir Auction. Taste one of a kind cuvees, bid and support healthcare for vineyard workers.
"The weather predictions were not great this year," laughs Ponzi Winemaker Luisa Ponzi. "We were looking at a really beautiful October of clear skies and nice cool temperatures, and it ended up being mostly that, but also there was some pretty intense rain." Watch the video to learn more about the 2017 harvest season at Ponzi Vineyards.
Whether you're hosting a holiday party, adding some sparkle to your home for the season or looking for wine-inspired gift ideas, our DIY Wine Craft board on Pinterest has you covered. Click here to see all they ways to upcycle old wine bottles, corks and other packaging.
Need more DIY supplies? Take advantage of our Fall Shipping Special to Stock up on Ponzi wines for the holidays! For 5 days only, November 1st - 5th, 2017, enjoy $15 Flat rate ground shipping when you purchase a case or more (12+ bottles). Use code FALL15 at checkout.
For the first time, Travel Portland hosted the Society of American Travel Writers' (SATW) annual meeting. The visiting travel writers were treated to conference discussions, field trips and a City of Makers dinner, all demonstrating Portland's innovative "maker" culture. As a pioneer of the Oregon wine industry, and winemakers, Ponzi Vineyards was invited to be an exclusive wine sponsor of the City of Makers dinner, and to host a tour group at the winery.
During the reception, travel writers sipped 2016 Ponzi Pinot Blanc, 2016 Ponzi Pinot Gris and 2015 Ponzi Tavola Pinot Noir while checking out the City of Makers wall.
Maria Ponzi started the evening with an inspirational talk focusing on the innovation and creativity thriving in Oregon. "Maker" culture and entrepreneurship have been key to the success the state's wine industry as well.
For the nearly 50 years, Ponzi Vineyards and other leading Willamette Valley wineries have built this destination, with its culture of tenacity, originality and commitment to quality. The SATW annual conference was a great opportunity to celebrate how far we've come!
Throughout November and December, Ponzi Vineyards, Willamette Valley Wineries and the Oregon Foodbank Networks team up to provide emergency food to the most vulnerable in our community, providing meals during the holidays. A portion of tasting fees from the Ponzi Tasting Room in Sherwood, OR, will help feed the people in the Willamette Valley community. Help us spread the joy this holiday season. Come taste and help Ponzi give back! #ponzicares
From Willamette Valley Wine, "It’s our opportunity to share our bounty during the holiday season and to give back to the people of our community. Won’t you join us?"
From its inception, Ponzi has been an integral part of ¡Salud! The health services provided to vineyard workers in partnership with Tuality Healthcare are an important part of the wine industry in Oregon. For over 25 years, ¡Salud! has been dedicated to providing healthcare services and outreach to Oregon vineyard workers and their families. And for over 25 years, ¡Salud! The Oregon Pinot Noir Auction has been the only opportunity to access Oregon's most exclusive Pinot Noir cuvées, straight from the winemakers who produce them.
Oregon's most celebrated wineries preview their very best 2016 vintage Pinot Noirs, custom-made solely for ¡Salud!. Mingle with the winemakers, enjoy their exclusive cuvées, and enhance your cellar with a case or two of your favorite wines.
As #pzharvest2017 roles along, we want to introduce you to some of the people who help us make Ponzi's world class wines. Ponzi Vineyards Winery has a tough team of passionate wine lovers, but as Assistant Enologist Annett Goetz explains, brute force won't always wine the day. Watch this video to learn about the role of the lab in winemaking.
Ponzi's Harvest Dinner 2017 was a magical evening featuring cozy atmosphere, chatting with two generations of the Ponzi family, a delicious meal and a preview of the 2015 single vineyard Pinot noirs and Chardonnays. Both second generation Ponzi sisters spoke, Luisa presented the new wines and Maria remembered the 2002 vintage.
The evening could not have more perfectly represented indian summer in the Willamette Valley. The clear skies faded into a spectacular sunset!
The dinner itself was an amazing five-course dinner by Winery Culinary Director, Thomas Ghinazzi, with each course perfectly paired with the unreleased 2015 Single Vintage Pinot noir and Chardonnay, plus a surprise library wine: the 2002 Abetina Pinot Noir.
To finish the meal, Chef Tom served a dessert of cheese blintz paired with limited release 2016 Ponzi Vino Gelato.
Please join us next year to celebrate the harvest. Mark your calendars!
Ponzi Vineyards supports its community here in the Chehalem Mountains outside of Portland, choosing opportunities to partner with local businesses whenever possible. If your bank is local Progress Ridge Umpqua (or even if it's not) stop in and see the Ponzi Vineyards display in the lobby. It's up for the next few months and will change as the holidays approach, featuring festive gift ideas for everyone on your list.
When it comes to American Pinot noir, few possess the rich history and experience of Ponzi Vineyards, one of Oregon’s pioneering wineries. The winery was founded in 1970 by Dick and Nancy Ponzi who realized the Willamette Valley met every need of noble, cool-climate grape varieties. Ponzi Vineyards was recognized early on as a premier producer of Pinot noir and instrumental in putting Oregon on the map as a world class wine region.
This tradition of excellence is carried on with second generation Winemaker Luisa Ponzi and President Maria Ponzi at the helm for the past 25 years. The winery continues to be a leader in Pinot noir innovation and remains at the forefront of American wine, as one of Oregon’s legendary producers.