Tag Archives: Gewurztraminer

rose wines

Five Rosé Wines to Enjoy this Summer

The summer of rosé is in full swing! It’s an international love affair, with rosé wine being made around the world from a variety of different grapes.

Try one of these AG picks tonight:

Cune RosadoCune Rosado Rioja 2013
Rioja Alta, Spain

From CVNE (pronounced Coo-nay), a family owned and operated winery founded in 1879 in Haro, Rioja, this dry rosé is 100% Tempranillo. Produced using the saignée or bleeding method, the juice was removed from the grape skins and seeds after around 24 to 48 hours, resulting in a magenta-pink color. Floral aromas introduce flavors of strawberry, tart cherry and red currant.
$14, 14% alcohol by volume

Esporao Defesa RoséEsporão Vinha da Defesa Rosé 2013
Alentejo, Portugal

Established in 1973, Herdade do Esporão is a family-owned estate and winery that takes its name from the tower on the property that is thought to have been built between 1457 and 1490. This rosé is a blend of Aragonez and Syrah. The grapes underwent pneumatic pressing after a short period of skin contact. Bright pink in color with berry aromas, the wine has flavors of raspberry, cherry and Victoria plum, with a hint of mint on the refreshing finish.
$15, 13.5% alcohol by volume

Bridge Lane RoséBridge Lane Rosé 2013
North Fork of Long Island, New York

This wine comes from Lieb Cellars, founded in 1992 on Long Island’s North Fork. Lieb was the first winery on Long Island to plant Pinot Blanc, which has become their signature wine and makes up part of the blend in the Bridge Lane rosé. The 2013 wine is 63% Cabernet Franc, 21% Merlot, 8% Pinot Blanc, 5% Riesling and 3% Gewurztraminer. Light and easy to drink with a pretty pale pink color, the wine has flavors of wild strawberry, raspberry and rose petal.
$18, 11.9% alcohol by volume

Cape Bleue RoséJean-Luc Colombo Cape Bleue Rosé 2013
Provence, France

The grapes for this wine from the noted French winemaker come from hilly vineyards near Salon de Provence, an area influenced by the nearby Mediterranean Sea.  It is a blend of 67% Syrah and 33% Mourvedre, and was made using the saignée method. Salmon-pink in color,  the aromatic wine will transport you to the South of France. Flavors of ripe strawberry, red cherry and rose are layered with subtle fennel and white pepper notes.
$14, 12.5% alcohol by volume

Houchart RoséDomaine Houchart Rosé 2013
Provence, France

Bought in 1890 by Aurélien Houchart, the 90 hectare estate near Aix-en-Provence and the foot of Mont Sainte Victoire has been consistently farmed since Roman times. Today it is owned by the Quiot Family and run by Geneviève Quiot, Aurélien’s great granddaughter. This Côtes de Provence rosé is a blend of Grenache, Cinsault, Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon. This crowd-pleaser is pale peachy-pink in color, with delicate flavors of strawberry, loganberry and watermelon that culminate in a crisp finish.
$11, 12% alcohol by volume

 

Seduce Your Senses with Fifty Shades of Grey Wine

Want to add some spice to your Valentine’s Day? Or maybe something sweet is more your style?

Titillate your taste buds with a glass of Fifty Shades of Grey White Silk or Red Satin, wines inspired by the sensual series.

As Anastasia Steele would say, “oh my!”

50 Shades of Grey wineAuthor and wine enthusiast E.L. James drew inspiration from the romance between Anastasia and Christian for the white and red wines. She collaborated with winemakers in California’s North Coast region to craft each blend.

The White Silk 2012 is mainly Gewurztraminer with some Sauvignon Blanc. Cold fermentation and stainless steel aging were used to preserve the fresh fruit characters. The wine is gently sweet, with floral aromas and flavors of white grapefruit, tangerine, honeysuckle, orange blossom and lychee. Jasmine and sweet citrus linger on the delicate finish.

The Red Satin 2010 is a blend of Petite Sirah and Syrah that was aged in new and seasoned French oak barrels. Seductive aromas of blackberry, cocoa and spice lead into flavors of black cherry, plum, clove, smoke and leather. Well balanced with good acidity and velvety tannins, the wine will appeal to even those who haven’t read the books.

Enjoy the wines with aphrodisiacs like oysters or foie gras with the White Silk, and filet mignon or dark chocolate with the Red Satin.

Each bottle costs $17.99. To find out where the wines are sold or to order online, visit www.fiftyshadeswine.com.

With Fifty Shades of Grey wines, there’s no tastier way to tell your Valentine –

You. Are. Mine.

13.5% alcohol by volume

More White Wines | More Red Wines | More Under $20

Biltmore Estate Releases Annual Limited Edition Christmas Wine

Happy holidays from the Biltmore Estate! The historic home and winery has released its limited edition 2013 Christmas at Biltmore Wine.

The Christmas season is a festive time for the Biltmore Estate, dating back to Christmas Eve in 1895 when George Washington Vanderbilt first opened the iconic home’s doors. The tradition of releasing a limited edition wine for the holidays began with the 1996 vintage.

2013 Christmas at BiltmoreThis year’s wine, from the 2012 vintage, is a blend of Muscat Canelli, Gewurztraminer and Riesling. Sixty percent of the wine came from California and 40% came from Washington.

The label was designed by artist Perry Winkler of DuBois, Pennsylvania, the winner of Biltmore’s 4th annual Christmas Wine Label Design Contest, as voted by the public.

Floral and citrus aromas introduce delicately sweet flavors of apricot, ripe lemon, lychee, honeysuckle and orange blossom. The finish is smooth with lingering notes of rose petal and white pepper.

The 2013 Christmas at Biltmore Wine is great for holiday celebrations, pairing with a range of foods including turkey, ham, stuffing, sweet potatoes and pumpkin pie.

The contest to design the label for the 2014 Christmas at Biltmore Wine is now open. Original designs, photos or artwork inspired by Christmas at Biltmore may be submitted through January 10, 2014. Click here for full details.

For more information on the Biltmore Estate and to purchase wines online visit www.biltmore.com.

$12.99, 12.8% alcohol by volume

More White Wines | Red Wines | Under $20

Helfrich: White Wines from Alsace

Elegance is the word that comes to mind when sipping the wines of Helfrich. A limited selection of white wines from the family-owned winery in Alsace, France are now available in the United States.

Helfrich winesThe Helfrich Cremant d’Alsace Brut demonstrates that you don’t need to spend a fortune to get a high quality French sparkling wine. Made entirely from Pinot Blanc, it has notes of fresh lemon, white grapefruit, white flowers and toast. Click here to see a full article on the Helfrich Cremant d’Alsace.
$20, 12.1% abv

The grapes for the 2012 Helfrich Pinot Blanc come from the Couronne d’Or (Golden Crown), an association of vineyards and winemakers in the middle of Alsace. Tart citrus aromas introduce flavors of lemon custard, white grapefruit and subtle orange blossom, with notes of white flowers that expand as the wine warms in the glass. Pair the Helfrich Pinot Blanc with salads, shellfish, white fish and Asian dishes.
$15, 12.96% abv

The grapes for the Helfrich Pinot Gris Grand Cru and Gewurztraminer Grand Cru come from the Steinklotz vineyard, one of only 51 vineyards in Alsace that has the Grand Cru designation. It is located at the northern end of the Alsatian wine trail and is one of the oldest vineyards recorded in Alsace.

Helfrich Grand CruThe 2011 Helfrich Pinot Gris Grand Cru offers a great balance of sweetness and acidity. The nose and palate are dominated by stone fruit – apricot, white peach and lychee are layered with gardenia, orange blossom honey and a subtle hint of smoke. It is a touch less sweet than the Gewurztraminer. Pair the 2011 Helfrich Pinot Gris Grand Cru with baked ham, roasted chicken and seafood dishes.
$20, 12.5% abv

Ripe fruit and delicate floral notes make the 2009 Helfrich Gewurztraminer Grand Cru a real treat. The nose is wonderfully fragrant with honeysuckle, gardenia and apricot aromas. Lush flavors of orange blossom, tangerine, wildflower honey and gentle minerality culminate in a finish with lingering candied orange and ginger. The Helfrich Gewurztraminer is excellent as a dessert wine, or can be paired with lobster, scallops, spicy Asian dishes and soft and aged cheese.
$20, 12.61% alcohol

More White Wines | Red Wines | Under $20

Wines for Celebrating Valentine’s Day

Whether you prefer to say “I love you” with something sparkling, sweet or pink, here are wines that are perfect for celebrating Valentine’s Day.

Demarie Birbet Brachetto
Roero, Italy
$20, 6.5% alcohol by volume

Lightly sparkling, a touch sweet and a deep magenta hue make Brachetto an ideal sip on Valentine’s Day. This wine comes from the Piedmont region in northwest Italy and is made entirely from the Brachetto grape. Like Prosecco, Brachetto gets its bubbles from the Charmat method.

The Demarie Birbet Brachetto has flavors of ripe raspberry, strawberry and cherry, with floral notes of rose and violet. Enjoy the Brachetto as an aperitif or with dessert.

 

Biltmore Pas de Deux
Monterey & Arroyo Seco, California
$19, 12.5% alcohol by volume

The Biltmore Estate, a popular destination in Asheville, North Carolina, produces a range of wines using grapes grown at the estate and sourced from California. The Pas de Deux, a gently sweet Methode Champenoise sparkling wine, is made entirely from Muscat Canelli grapes from California’s Central Coast.

Meaning “a dance for two,” the Pas de Deux is meant to be shared with someone special. It has round flavors of orange, lemon, white raspberry and wildflower honey, with small and energetic bubbles. Enjoy the Biltmore Pas de Deux as an aperitif or with lightly sweet or cream based dishes.

Click here for more sparkling wine suggestions

 

Domaine Zind Humbrecht Gewurztraminer 2011
Alsace, France
$30, 14% alcohol by volume

If it’s flowers you enjoy giving or receiving on Valentine’s Day, then Gewurztraminer is the grape for you. This white wine is extremely aromatic – take a sniff and you may be able to smell honeysuckle, jasmine, gardenia and rose.

The gentle sweetness in the Domaine Zind Humbrecht Gewurztraminer is nicely balanced with mouth-tingling acidity. Flavors of Meyer lemon, tangerine and a hint of white chocolate culminate in a pleasing finish that has a lingering touch of orange blossom honey. Oysters are a great pairing with the Zind Humbrecht Gewurztraminer, as are other shellfish, seafood, and spicy dishes.

 

Domaine de Triennes Rosé 2011
Var, France
$18, 12.5% alcohol by volume

The French know love – and rosé wine. This rosé from Provence is a partnership of two of Burgundy’s great estates: Aubert de Villane, co-owner of Domaine Romanee-Conti and Jacques Seysses, founder of Domaine Dujac. The wine is mainly made from Cinsault, with some Grenache and a dash of Merlot.

Light peachy-pink in color, the Triennes Rosé is elegant and aromatic with red fruit and floral notes. Round flavors of wild strawberry, raspberry and a hint of herbes de Provence come together in a clean, dry finish.

Mini Rosé 2010
Languedoc, France
$11, 11% alcohol by volume

This rosé from southwest France is made from the Cinsault grape. Pale salmon in color, the Mini Rosé has delicate flavors of white raspberry, strawberry and red grapefruit with refreshing acidity. Enjoy this wine with fish, grilled chicken, salad or pasta. Bonus: with only 87 calories per glass, you won’t feel guilty consuming a few extra pieces of chocolate.

 

Dark Lady of the Labyrinth Pinotage 2011
Wellington, South Africa
$20, 13.5% alcohol by volume

Smoky and seductive, the Dark Lady Pinotage is sure to spice up your Valentine’s Day. This red wine from South Africa offers a unique alternative to Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon or Zinfandel.

Intense aromas of smoked meat, leather and black fruit introduce a palate of blackberry, black cherry, black pepper, mocha and pipe tobacco. The wine has a silky mouthfeel, with gentle tannins and a long, satisfying finish. This wine demands to be served with a steak.

Discover Temecula: Briar Rose Winery

Tucked away in a valley in southern California is Temecula, one of the state’s lesser known wine regions.  While it may not yet have the name recognition of Napa or Sonoma, Temecula is home to more than 30 wineries.  At just 90 miles southeast of Los Angeles and 60 miles north of San Diego, Temecula is waiting to be discovered.

Visitors to Temecula should bring an open mind and an open palate.  There you’ll find family-owned wineries that have fun with nontraditional blends and a wide variety of grapes.  Planted in Temecula are Bordeaux and Burgundy varietals like in Sonoma and Napa, Rhône and Mediterranean varietals like in California’s Central Coast, and a few other varietals from other parts of the world thrown in for good measure.

I started my tour of Temecula wine country at Briar Rose Winery.  The cottage that houses the tasting room is almost as charming as owner Dorian Linkogle.  Warm and welcoming, Dorian spoke about her wines with such enthusiasm that I couldn’t help but like them even before I took my first sip.

Briar Rose produces about 2,400 cases of wine.  All are unfiltered, with no added sugar.

We began with two white wines: the Estate Viognier and 2009 Gewurztraminer.  The Viognier had sweet citrus aromas with notes of grapefruit, honeysuckle and lemon zest on the palate.  If you could drink in the garden setting it would taste like Briar Rose’s Gewurztraminer, which had lovely off-dry flavors of apricot, lychee and rose petals.

As I was enjoying the wines Dorian explained the origin of our fairytale setting.  The original owner worked for Walt Disney and built a replica of Snow White’s cottage for his wife.  Dorian and her husband Les (Briar Rose’s winemaker), bought the property in the early 1990s.  After years of selling their grapes to neighboring wineries they opened up their own winery in 2007.  Briar Rose takes its name from another fairytale, the princess in Sleeping Beauty.

Before moving to the reds Dorian poured me a taste of the 2009 Fumé Rosé.  The wine is 100% Sauvignon Blanc that is aged in Cabernet Sauvignon barrels, a process that gives the wine its light pink color.  Light and refreshing it was a great sip on the hot day, with a mix of citrus flavors, dried cherries and not quite ripe strawberries.

From there I tasted a variety of reds: three vintages of Cabernet Sauvignon (2003, 2004 and 2007), the 2007 Katrina Estate Zinfandel, 2004 Petit Verdot and 2007 Cabernet Franc.

I particularly liked the Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc.  The first had big flavors of cherries, blackberries and plum with gripping tannins that gave the wine good texture.  The Cabernet Franc had a fragrant nose of red fruits and flavors of raspberries and black plum with a spicy finish of cloves and tobacco.

As we were enjoying the jammy red fruit flavors of the Katrina Estate Zinfandel, Les came into the tasting room with a barrel sample of the 2009 Zinfandel.  Cloudy purple-red in color, the wine had flavors of fresh raspberries that will only get better as the wine continues to age in oak.

After finishing with the traditional wines and curious to find out what exactly was a ‘wine lager,’ I asked for a taste of Briar Rose’s Talking Frog Hefe-N-Vine.  It was created by the winemaker as a mix between wine and beer — unusual, but quite tasty.  It’s made from 100% Viognier that was fermented with yeast used to make hefeweizen.  The wine lager had a head similar to beer, with small bubbles like a sparkling wine.  The sweet bread aromas and flavors of apple and honey made for a crisp and refreshing sip.

With its intimate and enchanting setting, along with a variety of enjoyable wines, Briar Rose is the perfect place to kick off an exploration of Temecula Valley.

Briar Rose Winery is located at 41720 Calle Cabrillo in Temecula, California.  Tastings are by reservation only and can be made by calling (951) 308-1098.

For more information on Temecula Valley wineries visit www.temeculawines.org.

Click here for Discover Temecula Part 2: Thornton, Wiens and Leonesse

AG Pick: 2006 Trimbach Gewurztraminer

I can’t think of a better wine to toast the arrival of spring than the 2006 Trimbach Gewurztraminer.  Its beautiful and aromatic floral notes evoke thoughts of the first flowers of the season starting to bloom, and it is sure to make you smile after your first sip.

I first tried a Gewurztraminer from the Alsace winery in February at a seminar on sweet and fortified wines at the South Beach Wine & Food Festival.  Their 2000 Gewurztraminer Sélection de Grains Nobles, a late harvest wine, was the highlight of the tasting.  It was so fragrant I felt like I was sticking my nose in a bouquet of roses.  Unfortunately at more than $200 a bottle, it was a wine I don’t think I’ll get to enjoy again any time soon.

The experience led me to seek out other wines from Trimbach, at a more wallet-friendly price.  The 2006 Gewurztraminer is much more affordable at $22 a bottle (Trimbach also produces Riesling, which you can find for less than $20 a bottle).

This Gewurztraminer is bright golden yellow in color, with aromas of white flowers, peach and sweet lemon.  On the palate is an explosion of flavor with honeysuckle, apricot, peach, lychee, wildflower honey and a slight hint of cinnamon and spice on the finish that lingers for quite some time.  It’s elegant and supple in the mouth, with well-balanced acidity and alcohol (13.5%).

After my first few sips I was hooked.  This is the kind of wine that grabs you right away and is impossible to put down.

The Trimbach Gewurztraminer can be served with seafood, spicy Asian dishes or fruit.  Or enjoy it on its own — this wine pairs perfectly with sunshine and is sure to brighten up a cloudy day.

Something Sweet: Dessert & Fortified Wines

Some like it sweet — I certainly do.  So I couldn’t wait to explore the world of sweet and fortified wines during the “Sweet Dreams” seminar at the South Beach Wine & Food Festival.

Hosted by Master Sommeliers Laura DePasquale, John Blazon, Eric Hemer and Doug Frost (also a Master of Wine), the seminar featured eight sweet and fortified wines.

We started in Italy with the 2006 I Capitelli, Garganega, Anselmi IGT ($35 for 375 ml) from Veneto.  Garganega is the grape used in this wine and it is harvested late in the season after “Noble Rot.”  The benevolent fungus Botrytis infects the grapes, partially drying them and giving them the appearance of raisins.  This process concentrates the sugar in the grapes, giving the wine its wonderfully sweet flavor (all five dessert wines went through Noble Rot).

Amber in color, the I Capitelli had aromas of apricot, cardamom and sandalwood, with flavors of butterscotch and clover honey.  Moderate to moderate plus acidity gave the wine lift so it never felt syrupy in the mouth (the acidity also made you salivate when you took a sniff).  As the seminar went on the wine developed flavors of milk chocolate and almond.

We then moved on to a pair of white wines from Chateau Ste. Michelle in Washington.  The 2006 Eroica Ice Wine ($65 for 375 ml) goes one step beyond a Late Harvest wine, made from grapes that froze on the vine.  My favorite of the two Washington State wines, the Eroica had really nice notes of apricot, grapefruit, white peach and golden apple that lingered on the tongue.

The 2006 Ethos Late Harvest White Riesling ($40 for 375 ml) came from the same area as the Eroica but was harvested one day earlier.  It was not as sweet but still had delicate flavors of lychee, citrus and white flowers.

Next came my favorite of the sweet wines, the 2000 Gewurztraminer Sélection de Grains Nobles ($210) from F.E. Trimbach in Alsace, France.  Putting my nose in the glass was like putting it in a bouquet of roses.  The wine was so fragrant, it was really incredible.  Once I was able to go beyond the intoxicating aroma of rose I discovered notes of mandarin orange and dried mango that continued to evolve on the palate.  The finish complemented the experience, lasting for a good minute.  This wine would be perfect with foie gras or crème brûlée.  Considering the uniqueness of the wine and its high price (only the most exceptional grapes are harvested by hand), you’d better believe I enjoyed every last drop.

Following the Gewurztraminer we returned to Italy for the 2007 Privilegio, Fiano Di Avellino ($50 for 500 ml) from Feudi di San Gregorio in Campania.  Made from the Fiano grape, the wine had delicate flavors of lemon, orange peel, candied orange and grapefruit, with a hint of oak.

We then moved to a trio of fortified wines.  These wines maintain their residual sugar by the addition of distilled alcohol (usually Brandy) during the fermentation process.  The alcohol kills the yeast cells, halting fermentation and maintaining the desired level of sweetness.  Fortified wines are higher in alcohol, usually between 17 and 20 percent.

The first fortified wine we tasted was the 2008 Muscat de Rivesaltes, Château de Jau ($25 for 500 ml) from Languedoc-Roussillon in southwest France.  My initial impression was that this pale straw-yellow wine appeared innocent and dainty at first, but finished big and warm, due to the higher alcohol content.  The taste is elegant, clean and fresh, with notes of white flowers, grapefruit and lychee.  It’s a wine I definitely plan to buy so I can enjoy it at home.

Next came the Quinta do Bom Retiro 20-Year Tawny ($70), a Port from Ramos Pinto.  As a big fan of Tawny Port, I really enjoyed sipping this.  It had warm and spicy flavors of cedar, almonds and orange peel.  If you smoke, this is the wine to enjoy with a cigar.  As a non smoker, I plan to enjoy it with a box of dark chocolates.

We ended with the Désirée Chocolate Dessert Wine ($20 for 375 ml) from Rosenblum Cellars in California.  I can’t say I was a big fan of this wine.  The blend of Zinfandel, Touriga Nacional and Syrah was made even sweeter by the addition of chocolate syrup.  I found the wine too thick and sweet, though some in the seminar enjoyed it.  Personally, I’d rather have my chocolate syrup in a dessert rather than in a wine.

These wines do come with a high price tag but keep in mind that you’re not likely to drink as much or as quickly as you would with a traditional white or red.  Because of the high sugar these wines will last longer too.  Just use a good stopper and stick the bottle in the fridge and you can enjoy the wine for a couple of weeks.

All of these wines are available for sale both locally and nationally so give in to your sweet tooth and try a glass!

Thanksgiving Wine Pairings

A great Thanksgiving feast deserves a great wine!  Though selecting a bottle for your holiday dinner may seem a little daunting at first, the many flavors mean you can serve a variety of wines.

I’ve come up with a list of traditional pairings like Pinot Noir and Zinfandel, less common ones like semi-sweet white wines and even included a couple of tasty blends, all for less than $30 a bottle.

Here are wines that will pair well with your Thanksgiving meal:

Ca'Montini Pinot GrigioCa’Montini 2008 Pinot Grigio ($20)
This northern Italian white is my new favorite Pinot Grigio with its rich and creamy taste.  Relatively full-bodied for a Pinot Grigio, the wine has flavors of apple, peach, lemon and white grapefruit, with a hint of almond and hazelnut.  It’s an elegant pairing with turkey and lighter side dishes.

Washington Hills 2007 Gewurztraminer ($9)
This rich and well-balanced Gewurztraminer goes well with turkey and all the fixins.  Slightly sweet but still crisp, this white has flavors of pear, mandarin orange, pineapple and spice.

Heron Hill Ingle Vineyards RieslingHeron Hill 2006 Ingle Vineyards Riesling ($15) & Pinot Noir ($15)
Located in the Finger Lakes region of upstate New York, Heron Hill makes some delicious wines.  The 2006 Ingle Vineyards Riesling has an elegant bouquet of tropical fruit and jasmine that will add to the flavors from the meat and side dishes, while the wine’s natural acidity will pleasantly contrast with the sweetness of corn, sweet potatoes or gravy.  The Pinot Noir will bring toasty and spicy flavors to the table, while notes of cherry and plum will perfectly complement cranberry sauce.

Codorniu Pinot Noir Rose BrutCodorníu Pinot Noir Rosé Brut NV ($15)
Put a little sparkle into the traditional Pinot pairing with this Brut Cava from Spain.  Deep salmon in color with small and enthusiastic bubbles, this wine will certainly add a celebratory feel to your meal.  With flavors of strawberry and toast that come together in a crisp citrus finish, this sparkling wine goes well with turkey and all the sides.

Chehalem 2006 3 Vineyard Pinot Noir ($28)
This Pinot comes from Oregon’s Willamette Valley and has a great mix of red fruits and spice.  Flavors of spicy cherries and strawberries mix with cherry cola, cocoa, dried herbs and white pepper, with a hint of cedar on the finish.  Silky in texture, this wine is very easy to drink.

Beaujolais NouveauGeorges Duboeuf 2009 Beaujolais Nouveau ($9)
Released each year on the third Thursday in November, this light to medium bodied red from Burgundy is an ideal pairing for Thanksgiving.  Called the best vintage in 50 years, the 2009 has flavors of raspberry, blueberry and cherry with a hint of spice on the finish.  The tannins are intense for Gamay but still soft, balanced out by good acidity.

Gundlach Bundschu 2005 Mountain Cuvée ($24)
This Sonoma Valley red wine is one of my go to wines because it’s delicious and easy to drink.  It’s a medium-bodied blend of Merlot (71%) and Cabernet Sauvignon (21%), with Syrah and Cabernet Spanish QuarterFranc making up the rest.  Soft and round flavors of raspberries and cocoa lead to a spicy and meaty finish with lingering berry and cola notes.  This wine pairs well with turkey but is still elegant enough to go with lighter side dishes.

The Spanish Quarter 2007 Cabernet-Tempranillo ($10)
This red blend is a zesty and satisfying mix of Spain’s native varietal and a grape relatively new to the country.  Aromas of cherry and blackberry introduce full and silky flavors of ripe berries, dark chocolate, exotic spice and a touch of sweet oak on the finish.

Dry Creek Vineyard 2006 Heritage Zinfandel ($17)
Rued ZinfandelFor its bold and sophisticated flavors, this Zinfandel is a great buy.  Inky purple-red in color, this wine has concentrated flavors of blackberry and plum that mingle with dark chocolate, allspice and vanilla.  Firm and supple tannins create a balanced mouthfeel that culminates in a lingering and elegant finish.

Rued 2006 Zinfandel ($25)
This Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel comes from a small, family-owned winery in Sonoma County.  The wine has flavors of fresh baked blackberry pie, with hints of cocoa, licorice and spice.  It’s velvety in texture with well balanced tannins and acidity.  I’m also a big fan of their Russian River Valley Pinot Noir which costs $35 a bottle.

For more wines click on the name of the varietal or the price point you’re looking for in the tag cloud to the right.