Tuesday, November 24, 2009

A Red + White + Pink Thanksgiving

We're all about finding wines at a decent price that are also surprisingly good. I like to buy a few new bottles every month so maybe, just maybe, I can find something in the $8-$15 range that will be a go-to selection for pairing with dinner or taking along to a party.

We want to share a few new discoveries with you just in time for your Thanksgiving festivities -- our two recent favorites, a zinfandel and a riesling with tons of flavor, plus a rosé just for kicks.

Plungerhead, a 2007 old vine zin from Lodi, looks gimmicky but tastes big. The plastic cork is the color of a plunger, and there is a funny little guy with cask-legs akimbo on the label. But open it up, and it is shocking in its complexity: the zin has a great jammy smell with a full-on peppery wallop. Very rich and complex -- one of those red wines that is vibrant enough to stand on its own even before a meal.

Clean Slate, a 2007 riesling from Germany, has a balance of sweet and tart and an almost floral aroma. It's got that good minerally undertone in it that whites sometimes overdo; in this, it's pretty subtle. It comes across as very summery and layered with citrus, the opposite of a sharp, ugly chardonnay.

And even though it may be kind of out of season, we think you can't go wrong with Las Rocas rosé. Mild and layered, not cloying, and very crisp, it's great in hot weather, and it's a good, light first wine before the meal or an inventive last one with dessert.

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