July 30, 2014

What I'm Drinking: October 2012

Montes TwinsDuring the summer, i aminundated with what the wine industry refers to as “samples.” No complaints here—I love free wine as much as the next person—but I am picky about what I am looking for.

This year I am focusing on red blends, which have really caught on with adventurous wine drinkers. I have found three proprietary reds that my restaurants will soon be pouring by the glass. Essential Red is a new wine from Bogle, an intriguing blend of zinfandel, syrah, cabernet and petite sirah. The result is a rich, ripe, juicy wine with no sharp edges (and a low retail price between $10 and $12 a bottle).

Montes Twins is another new entry to the marketplace (and another great deal, retailing for about $14). This Chilean red is half cabernet, which provides richness and structure, and half malbec, which lends a velvety texture to the blend.

Then there is Chakalaka ($17), which I love to say and love to drink . . . this South African wine from Spice Route is spicy, smoky and exotic. There are six different grapes in the current 2009 bottling, but it is in essence a South African version of an Australian GSM (or grenache, shiraz and mourvèdre blend).


—Sukie Honeycutt is the co-owner and wine director for Tony’s Off Third, Ridgway Bar & Grill and Bayside Seafood Grill & Bar.

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