Time To Pull Out the Big Red Wines

Time To Pull Out the Big Red Wines

Wine of the Week

Cool weather is coming, so it's time to check out a few lusty, big-bodied red wines. The goal here is not the restrained and elegant, food-friendly wines of Europe. Instead, we're looking for the types of red wines that gallivant all over your palate leaving behind berrylike flavors, the types that make you stop and pay attention. We found two well worth searching for.

The folks who own Cline Cellars in California are of Italian descent. Their family came to the U.S. and made water pumps under the fairly well-known Jacuzzi name. Their wines also show the homeland influence by pairing perfectly with Italian-American cuisine, especially their Cline Cashmere ($13). It is a blend that includes Mour­vèdre, Gre­nache, and Syrah, and, like its namesake fabric, it's smooth and luxurious with just a hint of heat.

Mollydooker Winery is named after an Aussie idiom for a left-handed person. Sparky Marquis, the winemaker/owner is, as you might guess, left-handed. He's also the former owner of Marquis Phil­ips, a personal favorite of mine among Australian wineries. Since founding Molly­dook­er, Sparky and his winemaking wife, Sarah, have won just about every award imaginable and received huge scores from the magazines who give such things. Theirs are massive, intense wines that really scream for beef. Now, there's good news and bad news. Bad first: Most of the Mollydooker wines cost more than the rest of your dinner combined. The good news: The winery's least expensive offering is also one of the best. The Boxer ($25) is 100% Shiraz and filled with big jammy black cherry aromas.

While these aren't necessarily the best wines to feature if you've been slaving in the kitchen trying to reproduce a subtle dish from your favorite French bistro, they do pair up wonderfully with burgers or pizza or lasagna. The Mollydooker is available in fine wine shops and at Whole Foods Mar­ket. The Cline is available at select H-E-Bs and Cost Plus World Market.

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KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

red wines, Cline Cellars, Cashmere, Mourvèdre, Grenache, Syrah, Mollydooer Winery, Sparky Marquis, Sarah Marquis, Shiraz, Boxer, Whole Foods Market, H-E-B, Cost Plus World Market

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