55°
Mostly cloudy
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Good work-a-day wine that can carry any type of cuisine

I would be tempted to call our Our Wine of the Week, Gloria Ferrer NV Sonoma Brut ($20), a workhorse if the name weren't a tad heavy for something as delightfully effervescent as sparkling wine.

But, really, that's just what this wine is; it pairs beautifully with so many foods and can carry nearly any meal featuring almost any type of cuisine from beginning to end.

With its attractive price, it is a good work-a-day wine, as welcome on, say, a Wednesday night dinner table as at a weekend party.

Among the qualities that make this wine a crowd pleaser is its generous warmth.

Fruit flavors come first, with small bubbles tickling the palate with hints of Asian pear, ripe apple and black cherry. Next comes toasted almonds, a quality that dissolves into a broad suggestion of toast: Think toasted brioche.

All along there is enough lively acid to conjure up citrus, especially lemon and tangerine, a quality that brings to mind the tangerine slices warmed on a hot radiator that M.F.K. Fisher wrote about so evocatively.

By pure coincidence, I had this wine with Thai food a few days before it was named Wine of the Week. It was excellent, especially with pork in green coconut curry.

The wine is perfect with oysters on the half shell, paella and cioppino. I plan to serve it alongside Dungeness crab fideos -- similar to paella but with short pieces of pasta instead of rice -- that I am developing for Christmas Eve dinner.

Its appeal, though, is certainly not limited to seafood or Thai food.

Pork loin, pastas in cream sauce, roasted root vegetables, creamy polenta with almost any topping or sauce, creamy wild mushroom soup: All will welcome this wine alongside.


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