November 20, 2012
This red wine made from Bordeaux grapes — cabernet sauvignon, merlot and cabernet franc — along with syrah has turned out to be a harmonious and complex blend at a very appealing price. It's a smooth, subtle and layered wine with flavors of black cherry, smoked meat, herbs and earth. It's at a good state of maturity now but will only get better over the next 5 to 10 years. From: Toscana, Italy Price: $17 Serve with: Pasta, beef, lamb
March 20, 2012
From: Valpolicella Classico, Veneto, Italy Price: $14 Serve with: Pasta Bolognese, grilled meat This lush, soft, seductive red wine offers a medium-full body and appealing flavors of black cherries, Asian spices, mountain herbs and a subtle earthiness. Imported by Leonardo Loscascio, this is a wine with a lot of character — a cut above the ordinary Valpolicella — that doesn't need further aging to be immensely satisfying. — Michael Dresser
May 21, 2013
From: Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma County, Calif. Price: $21 Serve with: Pizza, hearty stews, chili This is a big, strapping red zinfandel in the classic Dry Creek valley style. It's a bold, lush wine loaded with blackberry, wild berry, mineral, chocolate, coffee, game and blueberry flavors. If you like big zins, you'll love it, but it's not for Euro-palates. -- Michael Dresser
February 27, 2013
From: Barossa Valley, Australia Price: $21 Serve with: Grilled meat, beef stew, lasagna This is a red wine whose flavors truly convey an image of the vines: squat, weathered old bushes with small yields of fat, ripe grapes. There's that old-vine concentration of gamy, meaty, earth flavors and dense blackberry fruit. It's a lush, intense wine with a creamy texture and a burly elegance. It's a total pleasure and well worth the above-average price. -- Michael Dresser
June 22, 2010
Not too long ago, rose wines were not highly regarded, but now only the most insufferable snobs look down on a well-made pink wine. This dry, deep-pink, intensely flavorful rose is an ideal summertime quaff. It offers flavors of strawberries, rosehips, cherries and herbs and finishes long and clean. It would be best to drink it up before the leaves fall. — Michael Dresser 2009 M. Chapoutier Belleruche Rose From: Rhone Valley, France Price: $13 Serve with: Salmon, fried chicken
April 21, 2010
From: Livermore Valley, Calif. Price: $15 Serve with: Beef, lamb, game Concannon is a respectable middle-class winery with most varietals, but with Petite Sirah, it is one of California's aristocrats. This robust red wine is a spectacular value, the equivalent of a good Chateauneuf-du-Pape at half the price. It's a complex, structured wine with a wonderful mix of flavors: blackberry, wild berries, smoked meat, chocolate and earth. Even in its youth, it has an enticing aroma that, given time, will evolve into a seductive bouquet.
October 31, 2001
2000 Callaway Coastal Sauvignon Blanc ($9). This refreshing, herbal white wine gives excellent value for the price and is widely available. It offers a pleasantly smoky aroma and lively, intense flavors of gooseberry, lime and grapefruit. This wine definitely gravitates toward the "grassy" Loire style, so it might not be the choice for consumers who want an oaky wine resembling a chardonnay. It's well-suited for serving with seafood or creole-style chicken.