• Two Thumbs Way Up
• Bright aromas of red cherry, strawberry and bacon fat. A quaffer, it has hedonistic flavors of tart, fresh-crushed cherries, mocha and cream soda with smooth, almost velvety, tannins.
|Just the other day, my friend and spiritual advisor Athalie White was just tickled to tell me that she introduced a friend to a carmenère, the iconic Chilean red wine grape. Attagirl, Athalie! Not only did the two friends enjoy a yummy wine, they were able to witness another facet of the great wine gemstone.
This is not an indictment of cabernet sauvignon or chardonnay, but when you’re heading over someone’s house this holiday season with a wine bottle in hand, why not make it a little more interesting? There’s a panoply of non-merlot-pinot grigio-shiraz-sauvignon blanc wines out there.
Wines made with carmenère, pinotage and grüner veltliner are just the ice breakers needed to get conversations rolling at the season’s meetings. Wouldn’t it be great to plop a bottle of South African pinotage (like the ’09 Dark Lady, $19) or a carmenère (like the ’08 Eco, $9) or even—no, I’m not kidding—a white pinot noir from Germany (like the’07Kendermanns Blanc de Noir, $14) into your host’s hands? All inexpensive, all yummy and all chock full of tales to tell.
(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.)