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"In vino veritas"
(In wine there is truth)
As Californians we are incredibly lucky to be surrounded by a plethora of delicious wines. There's an incredible array of choices for every palate and every wallet everywhere we look. Now, I'm no expert wine connoisseur but I thought it'd be fun to share a few of the wines that I'm currently enjoying.
2007 Delas St. Esprit Cotes-du-Rhone Rouge
I was first introduced to this wine at a wine party I threw quite awhile back. A guest had picked it up at Corti Brothers and at first sip, I knew that I was in love with this full-bodied red and would be buying it regularly. The garnet-colored wine carries a nice subtle taste of pepper, plums and blackberry. If you love jammy reds like I do, you'll like this one. You can usually find it at Cost Plus World Market or Corti Bros for around $12-$14.
2007 Berryessa Gap Tempranillo
This soft Tempranillo didn't come onto my radar until late this summer. Mr. S. and I threw a BBQ and my friend Jenni was kind enough to bring a few bottles to share. Berryessa Gap's Tempranillo is very balanced and has a richness to it that makes it appealing even to the pickiest drinker. Throughout the night I heard several of our guests murmuring about how they liked the Tempranillo.
2008 Ceretto Moscato d'Asti Santo Stefano
During my recent trip to LA, Mayumi and I stopped in a wine bar called Friends of the Vine in Redondo Beach for a pre-dinner drink. My sweet tooth was in full effect so I opted for a glass of the Ceretto Moscato d'Asti Santo Stefano ($20-$25), a sparkling wine. The wine was fresh tasting, aromatic and offered up the right amount of sweetness (it wasn't cloying at all). This wine would be perfect paired with a dessert, like a raspberry tart or perhaps an apricot creme brulee.
Trentadue Chocolate Amore
If you could bottle up some post-sex after glow, it'd most definitely taste something like Trentadue's Chocolate Amore ($20-$25). The winery describes it as a, "Merlot-based, port-styled chocolate flavored dessert wine," and although that's on mark, it doesn't quite do this sublime wine justice. Seriously, the Chocolate Amore is so heavenly and decadent that you'll want to draw the shades and snuggle down in your sheets before popping the cork. If you haven't tried it you must! I was first exposed to this silky elixir after a fabulous dinner at Formoli's. It was so good that I had to check out the winery. If you can, book a room in Healdsburg, a stone's throw from Geyserville (where Trentadue is located) and make a romantic weekend out of it. They do 4 tastings for $5 and the people who work there are as sweet as pie. I think they're used to guests swooning after taking a sip of the Chocolate Amore.
Lastly, is the "dirty little secret wine." I know you, like me, have a few cheapie bottles of wine squirreled away somewhere. For me it used to be Ironstone's Obssession, a Symphony wine ($5-6). It really hits the spot on a sweltering summer day and doesn't put the hurt on my pocketbook. However, as it's becoming a bit of a PIA to find in the grid I've found myself turning toward Whole Food's version of the Two Buck Chuck, called Three Wishes. For $2.99, the dandelioned labeled California wine is a decent drink. It comes in merlot, chardonnay and cabernet sauvignon. The latter two are the better of the group, in my opinion, and are great for making sangria with. I also like that the bottles are made of Eco-Glass.
So now that you know what's been swirling in my wine glasses, I'd love it if you'd share what bottles you've been choosing to stack on your wine racks and sip with your dinners.