Pick These Reds for Valentine’s Day

For my annual Valentine’s wine article, I decided to focus only on red wine. After all, it’s cold outside, and we all love reds. So I asked myself, “What wine would I want to drink huddled in front of a fireplace?” Even though you’ve got your love to keep you warm, there’s nothing like that first swallow of a rich red wine that ignites a glow in your body. The following wines are more than simply full-bodied reds; they’re rich with dimension, clarity and, above all, deliciousness.

Robert Sinskey “3 Amigos” Pinot Noir
Los Carneros, California, 2007, $56
Velvety Pinot with delightful aromas of cherry pie and forest floor. The palate, however, reveals the wine’s secrets in a seamless finish. One of the best I’ve tasted this year.          

RouteStock Cabernet Sauvignon
Napa Valley, 2008, $18
Sweet fruit, lovely inner mouthfeel that caresses the palate with soft, luscious flavors of cassis. A good Cabernet for chocolate.

Wild Hog Zinfandel “Estate”  
Sonoma, 2008, $25
A buxom, heady Zin with blackberry and log-cabin aromas. A Port-like intensity yields playful flavors of pepper and juniper. 

Pulenta Cabernet Franc
Mendoza, Argentina, 2007, $37
An elixir that displays myriad flavors of ripe currants, lavender and cigar tobacco. Impressive complexity.

Available at Madison's finer wine stores. If unavailable, most purveyors will special order from their wholesalers if requested. Michael Kwas is wine director at L’Etoile restaurant. He writes this column monthly.

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