3 Ways to Bling in the New Year with St. Clair
The Lescombes, a sixth generation French winemaking family, have been growing wine grapes in New Mexico since 1981. Today, they run a vineyard and tasting room west of Deming, along with three St. Clair Winery & Bistro locations in Las Cruces, Albuquerque, and Farmington. They produce 70 different wines (many award-winning) under several labels including Blue Teal and D.H. Lescombes.
The Las Cruces bistro on Avenida de Mesilla is a great place to stock up on St. Clair’s three varietals of sparkling wine, all of which have won numerous prestigious awards. Marketing director Maritza Gomez says the holiday season is prime time to stop in as Bellissimo will be the featured Wine of the Month for December and they’ll also be releasing several new wines in the coming months exclusively at the bistros.
St. Clair Bellissimo
Its name means “beautiful” in Italian, and with good reason: this bubbly boasts a brilliant white gold color and an even more enticing flavor overflowing with aromas of peaches, Moscato, honeydew melon, and white flowers. Serve this sparkling wine with appetizers like fruits and nutty cheese or along with rich desserts like crème brulee and dark chocolate.
D.H. Lescombes Imperial Kir
Save this crisp sparkler for the midnight toast. Based on the Kir Imperial, a drink first made popular in the late 1800s, this semi-sweet wine boasts a light rose color and a flavor profile composed of ripe raspberries with just a hint of melon. The 2015 Regional Wine Review gave it a gold medal calling it “exceptional” and “a sweet, fruity, very tasty sparkler.”
D.H. Lescombes Brut
Made with early harvest grapes, this brut is crisp and dry with flavors of peach cobbler, hyacinth, and honeycomb. The Regional Wine Review says it has a “finely carbonated, fruity medium body.” Serve this food-friendly wine as a welcoming aperitif. It’s also versatile enough to pair with any course of the meal.
St. Clair Winery & Bistro
early for St. Clair’s annual New Year’s Eve Celebration Dinner for Two. Couples will dine on a multi-course meal (last year’s menu options included prime rib, Chilean sea bass, and triple chocolate mousse) and do a champagne toast.
2 Bubbles of Joy from Noisy Water Winery
“…some amazing wines that could easily stand up against many coming out of Napa.”
Growing up in a wine-loving, traditional Italian family inspired Jasper Riddle to found Noisy Water Winery in Ruidoso seven years ago. In that short time, his passion project has put out many award-winning wines (he’s won 45 medals just since 2014), all made from New Mexico grown grapes. The winery is now producing an average of 40 to 50 wines per year and is distributed all over New Mexico. (Find bottles in Las Cruces at NM Vintage in Mesilla or at Toucan Market.)
Jasper’s college friend Matt Breslow moved to Ruidoso from New York to head up the distribution department. “I made him fly me out for a tasting before I accepted the job, and I was blown away,” Matt remembers. “He’s making some amazing wines that could easily stand up against many coming out of Napa.”
Matt’s go-to favorites are the Vintner’s Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon and Curtain Call, a New Mexico Bordeaux-style reserve blend. “Plus, there’s four or five others, I’d take any day of the week,” he adds. But for New Year’s, no party is complete without bubbly, and this winery makes two tempting varietals. Noisy Water also makes a delicious line of handmade artisan cheeses to round out the festivities.
The local bars and pubs in Ruidoso put their New Year’s orders in early for this hometown favorite. A generous amount of bubbles are added to this full sparkling wine with a Moscato base. Light and floral, this wine blossoms with notes of peaches and honey. While it’s great for mimosas, Matt says the flavor is almost too good to mask by adding in orange juice. He recommends serving it as an aperitif along with a flavorful cheese, like Noisy Water’s Bacon Cheddar or Asiago. For dessert, it pairs well with cheesecake.
The seductive Bella Rossa is another great pick for your party. Matt says this semi-sweet blend of Sangiovese and white zinfandel creates a rosé wine that’s really popular in the fall season. Go with this bubbly if you’re hosting a New Year’s dinner party. It’s a nice celebratory touch that pairs well with hearty dishes, like salmon or a creamy alfredo pasta. For the post meal cheese platter, serve a glass with Noisy Water’s Chipotle Cheddar or Sharp White.
Noisy Water Winery 575-257-9335 • noisywaterwinery.com
1 Champagne Dream Any Party Guest Can Enjoy
Underage? Pregnant? Just don’t care for drinking? Make your midnight toast with one of Stephanie Baumann’s elegant champagne-flavored cupcakes. Stephanie, the owner of Let Them Eat Cake, has been creating customized cakes for local celebrations for 15 years now, and she just opened her brand new shop on University Avenue this fall. Whether you’re looking for a full-sized cake to serve a large guest list or you want to decorate your dessert table with tempting cupcakes, she’s got you covered with a delectable array of New Year’s inspired flavors. She’ll even dress them up with metallic colors and edible sparkles and glitter. “For champagne cakes, I like to use edible pearls because they look like bubbles,” Stephanie says.
Stop in to the shop where she features a rotating selection of cupcake flavors and get your custom holiday order in early. With over 400 combinations of cake, filling, and frosting, her treats are a great addition to any Thanksgiving or holiday meal. She also offers vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free options. Her favorite New Year’s concoctions include Brut, Moscato, and pink Champagne cakes in which she includes the flavor in both the frosting and the cake itself. She says her strawberries and Champagne combo is a popular seller all year long and she can also whip up other delights like Champagne cocktail cupcakes with added bitters, red velvet cake with Champagne frosting, and a Moscato cake with a pear puree frosting on top.
Let Them Eat Cake