Hearty Winter Reds

From our Hang Time tasting, Thursday, January 29, 2015…


It’s been a bitterly cold winter, with sunny days few and far between and temperatures well below freezing.  But you’re here at Red Feet for a wine tasting, a reason for good cheer.  Today we’ll sample some big red wines to warm your heart and chase away the winter blahs.

New World wines lead the charge today.  Argentina provides the Tilia Malbec 2013, a perennial Red Feet favorite.  Malbec is a great in winter as a warming wine, in summer as a grilling wine.  Tilia’s black cherry and plum aromas introduce juicy dark berry flavors with just a touch of spice and vanilla. Partner with burgers, rib sticking stews, and hearty root vegetables.

Boxhead Shiraz 2012 is an Australian offering, with floral, dark berry, and tart cherry components accented by peppery spice.  Juicy acidity provides a nice lift to this wine, and the flavors deepen as the wine opens.  This is another great burger wine (maybe with blue cheese) or a partner for full-flavored pizza or Buffalo wings.  California chimes in with two offerings.

The classy Educated Guess Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 is from Napa (and three of the chemical formulae on the label are from Cornell!).  Made by Roots Run Deep Winery, it’s intended to express the quality of Napa at a fraction of that quality’s cost, and it succeeds masterfully.  2012 was a great vintage, and the year this wine spent in oak adds to its flavor.  Pair with a steak or roast, game, or hearty vegetarian fare.

Boneshaker Zinfandel 2012, from Hahn Winery, is made primarily from sustainably grown old-vines Lodi fruit, some of California’s best Zin; there’s also some Cabernet Sauvignon in the blend to provide structure.  Both aromas and flavors are intense and enticing, and the mouthfeel is luscious.  Boneshaker checks in at 15% alcohol, so it’s not for the faint of heart.  Try this with braised short ribs, Texas-style chunky chili, or a roast porchetta sandwich with caramelized onions.

When it comes to Old World wines, Spain is the go-to choice for hearty reds, and Red Feet has many on the shelves.  Today we’ll taste Niel Santofimia 2013, made from Garnacha Tintorera, aka Alicante Bouschet.  This wine hails from Almansa, the site of the world’s largest production of the grape.  Garnacha Tintorera is a member of the teinturier family, characterized by red rather than white flesh, resulting in deeply colored wine.  It’s a spicy, fleshy wine with cassis and boysenberry notes and a lingering finish.  It can stand on its own or pair with lamb, beef, and North African foods.

Sunday is the Super Bowl, and any of these wines would be a welcome guest at a football party.  There are plenty of other crowd pleasers, too—beer isn’t the only beverage that goes with nachos.  Whether you’re a host or a guest, we have a suggestion for the event.

Join us next week as we welcome new European arrivals at Red Feet.  Stay warm!

–MP Rouse