Thursday, March 5, 2009

Lighter Reds with Moves

You know how you're always buying the same little black dress over and over again ... only to realize that your prized new booty has 7 clones to cavort with in the closet? Or maybe it's the same black turtleneck or snakeskin fuchsia clutch (my, my, I can't imagine who would do THAT). Whatever form it takes, when we really like something we tend to fall for it again and again. This is a rut, people, and it can even happen with wine.

My honey and I are a New World, fruit forward couple. I know that's awfully personal, but it's true. So we often end up lugging home more than a few bottles of big, sexy, fruit bomb wine, only to wonder why we never have anything to go with the veggie pizza I like on a weeknight. We finally got wise a few months ago and started reigning ourselves in at the wine store...FOCUS! We need light reds! Bold whites! Step AWAY from the Shiraz and Barolos!

Alas, the trick to any rehab program is finding a few solid standbys that work over the long haul. Here are two we've begun to warm up to:

Makor Merlot, Bien Nacido Vineyards, Santa Barbara County "Westside," CA - Aside from the obviously cool gangland terroir, Makor isn't your average soft, flabby Merlot. Tea, tar, chocolate, and black cherries with great structure and balance have me all over it.

Graziano Zinfandel 2005, Mendocino, CA - Some wines are just totally drinkable and delicious, and this is one of them. It's filled with red fruit, white pepper, and smoke, so it's ideal with anything grilled.

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