Rosé wine—mostly dry wine, that is—pairs great with a wide range of food. In fact it’s one of the best pairing wines there is.  Rosé wine is a “bridge” between red and white wine, and don’t think “plonk” or White Zinfandel; Rosés can be sophisticated and fairly expensive, frankly, such as Domaines Ott, which Sherry-Lehmann in Manhattan calls the “gold standard” and sells for about forty bucks a bottle.  Wines with just a hint of sweetness can be great pairs, because let’s face it, a lot of the food we eat has a little sweetness to it: BBQ sauce on ribs, tomato sauce on pasta, and glaze for Asian foods.  Rosés are great for all these. BTW, Rosés from Spain…

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Spanish whites seem to be so often defined by Albarino, which admittedly makes a wonderful wine, especially those from Rias Baixas in Galicia in northwestern Spain. But the Godello grape-and this "other" Spanish wine is 100% Godello-delivers up something completely different and something you should try, especially now that warmer weather is here. This one has a very pale straw color but don't mistake it for a wine with no character. It has a really lovely floral aroma, with real body, and lots of lime flavors and maybe some pineapple with strong mineral notes.  Crisp and refreshing.  Some compare it to a Sauvignon Blanc but I think the difference is striking. It's also a great value, depending on where you…

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Last Monday I got the opportunity to sit down with famed Zinfandel winemaker Joel Peterson of Ravenswood at The Frog and the Peach in New Brunswick, New Jersey.  Obviously I jumped at the chance.  At 65, he’s still running and gunning, and while he’s certainly an obvious and effective ambassador for the brand he co-founded and built, he’s still—amazingly—the winemaker-in-chief and also the scout and overseer of dozens of vineyards where Ravenswood sources its grapes. Peterson founded Ravenswood in 1976 with a guy named Reed Foster, whom he met at an East Bay (San Francisco) wine tasting group. They had 4,000 bucks; there was no physical winery, and there were no dedicated vineyards; really there was just an idea of…

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And now for something completely different. This wine is from Sardinia, an Italian island, and it’s based on the Carignano (Carignane) grape, one you might have never tasted, with a few percent of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. A very deep violet color, it’s matched by a depth in richness-with blackberry, leather and lots of spice, mouthfilling but not overwhelming tannin with enough acid to keep you refreshed and a very long finish. Opulent is the only way to describe this wine. Unlike most of my selections, unfortunately this one isn’t cheap, and you’ll have to spend between $30 and $50 at a good wine store (yes, the range can be that wide). But it’s worth it to try this outstanding…

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Should You Listen to Wine Experts? Champagne Exports Highest in 5 Years Red Wines of Sicily Carmenere: One of my Favorites! Wine Fraud Give it a (S)Whirl

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I know that Spring isn't here yet, and spring is the traditional time to drink Rose. But you don't have to wait for spring to stock up on--or even drink--this incredible and remarkably inexpensive wine. And here in New Jersey, it's like spring anyway. From South Africa, this is 100% Cabernet Sauvignon, and I don't know another Rose made from 100% Cab. It's dry but mouth-filling with a fruit bomb of red cherries, strawberries and pomegranates. This is not a wimpy Rose - it's a relatively big wine, and it'll stand up to a lot of food. You can find this wine at about $9-11.         

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It's time for a white Wine of the Week. And this one's an amazing value. From the Rhone region of France, this wine (the name means "the old farm") has got White Grenache, Bourboulenc, Ugni Blanci, and Roussanne, and delivers flavors of green apple, lemon, and pear; nice and zesty but with enough backbone from the Grenache to give it some body.  This is great wine when you've got a lot of people to serve and don't want to break the bank, and want to give 'em something other than some run-of-the-mill Chardonnay or Pinot Grigio. You can find this wine at about $6-8.  Really. Get some.

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Moscato Mania Choosing a Valentine's Day Wine Wine's Three Biggest Lies Napa 2008 Single-Vineyard Cabernets Wines of the Cote-Rotie

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OK, the names seem to be getting even longer.  Sorry. But do try this 90% Carmenere / 10% Cabernet, the debut vintage of the line, which I tasted with the winemaker in 2009 shortly after its release.  Even then it was already drinkable, and it's only gotten better: a deep purple, rich, blackberry and plum treat, well balanced, with ripe, chewy tannin and a wonderful finish. You can find this wine at about $18-21.  It's a little above the range of wines I typically recommend, but worthy every penny. And the 2008 and 2009 are also outstanding if you can't lay your hands on an '07.

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In this wine, Italy does meet France. Argiano is an Italian winemaker with 120 acres of vines in Montalcino, Tuscany, and also produces a Bordeaux-style wine entirely from French grapes, in addition to three 100% Sangiovese wines. This is a full-bodied, very satisfying wine that a bunch of work colleagues and I enjoyed the other night at Eno Terra in Princeton.  Forty percent Cab, and twenty percent each Sangiovese, Merlot and Syrah, this is one of the most interesting blends I've ever tasted.  Nice blackfruit, a touch of spice, noticeable but not overwhelming tannin and a really nice, long finish, this is a great wine with food or just by itself on a cold, winter night.  Like we're having here…

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