• Two Thumbs Up
• Briary aromas of plum, black cherry and smoked meat. It has flavors of concentrated black cherry, blueberry, espresso and clove. Full-bodied to be sure. Should be great with a grilled beef steak.
I’m a contrarian by nature. When the market is at its peak and everyone’s reaping profits, it’s time for me to buy. When the electric fan companies say don’t stick your hand in the fan while it’s operating, I demonstrate that you can stop the blades with a pinky.
So it should come as no surprise that while every wine writer in the Northern Hemisphere is talking about the latest, greatest summer wine ever, I’m talking about mondo-big wines full of bold flavors.
Why make like a salmon swimming upstream? Well, for some folks out there heat, humidity and lighter summer fare have no bearing on their wine selections. Recently, at a Smoke Rise Sharks dive meet (on a sweltering, stormy evening, I might add) one gentleman shared his Concannon Petite Sirah with me. Life could be worse (it is one of my favorite reds) and it did go quite well with the sharp cheeses and spicy salumi we had at hand.
And here’s a special note to those big-red-or-nothing drinkers out there, don’t be afraid to put your wine in the fridge or dunk it in an ice bath. I’m not proposing you serve your wines chilled, but a 96-degree Carmenère can be off-putting. Chill it until it is around 50 to 55 degrees and you’ll enjoy the intense berry flavors that much more.
(Wines are rated on a scale ranging up from thumbs down, one thumb mostly up, one thumb up, two thumbs up, two thumbs way up and Golden Thumb Award. Prices are suggested retail prices as provided by the winery, one of its agents, a local distributor or retailer.)