1993 Montevina Aleatico, Amador County ($8, half bottle)

Wine of the week

January 03, 1996|By Michael Dresser

Let's start out the year with a real oddball. This pale red from California is halfway to pink and halfway to being a dessert wine. There's plenty of sugar up front, but just when you're expecting a long, sweet finish, it pulls a compete reverse and finishes quite dry. The flavor is unique, with a strong element of dried cranberries -- something you're not going to find in many wines. It's tough to think of any food to serve it with, though it might work with a full-blown turkey dinner. Let's just punt and call it an aperitif. Whatever the heck it is, it's a lot of fun. Aleatico, by the way, is a traditional Italian red grape.

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