Wine of the Week

Homefront Red: grapes for a good cause

Wine of the Week

Murphy-Goode Winery is 28 years old this year. It was started by buddies Tim Murphy, Dale Goode, and Dave Ready. They all got a little older and decided to sell the place to the Jackson family (as in Kendall-Jackson), but the founding families remain involved, and Dave Ready Jr. is the winemaker. Despite the fact that he's a Minnesotan living in Sonoma, he's an Austin kind of guy. An ex-drummer in a rock & roll band, he never wanted to be a working musician. He wanted to be a rock star. As we all know, the number of people who can claim to be a rock star and be a drummer is infinitesimal: Ringo, John Bonham, Keith Moon, and, uh, maybe Terry Bozzio? That's it. So, Dave the part-time drummer is a winemaker, and a good one.

In any case, several of the Murphy-Goode team members thought they were in a position to do something to help active-duty soldiers and veterans by financially supporting their families. Their solution was to make a tasty wine called Homefront Red ($15) and donate 50 cents of each bottle to Operation Homefront. Given the economics of wine, which includes a markup from the distributor and the store, Murphy-Goode actually gets less than $5 a bottle, so they are donating a pretty big piece of their final take. All of this would just be a nice thing, but thankfully the wine itself is scrumptious. It is a blend of massive red grapes like Syrah, Petite Sirah, Zinfandel, and Merlot. Given that heritage, you might expect a high-alcohol wine that fights with food. Instead, it's an easy-to-drink, food-friendly wine that would pair perfectly with any type of grilled meat, whether a sizzling Porterhouse or a plump burger. Murphy-Goode wines are available all over town, but Homefront Red is new to the market, so you might have to ask for it.

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