Vast in flavor profile, red wines offer something for everyone By Andrea M. Johnson
When it comes to wine, nothing gives me more pleasure than wrapping my taste buds around a Big Bold Red. Tart, fruit forward, smoky, jammy, dry, full of minerality, no oak, big oak, doesn’t matter. A full and interesting red is the portal to a gratifying, enjoyable time. Why? They’re not merely tasty, they’re interesting.
Much like moods, a meaty red wine can satisfy or represent the needs of the moment. In this way, it’s always a fun experiment to search for the right wine, and capture it at just the right time.
Let’s explore some of my favorite reds at the moment. From lightest to richest, I recommend:
Pinot Noir. When it comes to pinot noirs, I tend to keep a space open for the more complex, less fruity versions. However, a solid, clean, palette pleaser that is sure to impress, with its bright cherry-explosion-summer-vibe, is Lazy Day by Lazy Creek Vineyards. Straight out of Anderson Valley, in Mendocino County, Calif., this wine begins with a pretty plumbiness. It bends toward soft notes of berry on the nose, and evolves into a lingering bowl of cherries on the finish, complete with traces of licorice and cola. There’s no way to deny it, this wine is worth a “Lazy” trip.
Cabernet Sauvignon. One of my favorites grapes, I’d be remiss to not include this delightful and storied Paso Robles vineyard’s addictive contribution, Eberle Cabernet Sauvignon. Pronounced “ebb-ur-lee,” what it lacks in ease of pronunciation, it makes up for in warm, oaky goodness. Eberle’s particular flavor is unusual and complex owing to a combination of rich berry, tobacco, and stone fruit, threaded throughout with a surprising coconut umami. It’s a distinctive cab that lingers on the tongue and in the memory. It’s a don’t miss.
Malbec. Dry, big, not always comfortable, but almost always rewarding. If you are searching for a less fleshy companion than the wines listed above, malbec is your next glass. Lamadrid, a Mendoza-based Argentinian wine, has a lovely unfiltered style that offers a touch more fruit than your typical South American malbec. And with its unfiltered status, it allows for a more raw, aromatic journey than we tend to expect of this grape in the U.S. Said another way, it’s full of volume and delicious.
So however you choose to imbibe, make sure to pencil in a night with a bold, interesting red that you’ve never sampled before. 45 Central Wine Bar always carries those harder-to-find wines that make the night worth staying out late for. You won’t regret the journey.