A red wine for those who hate red wines

By Richard Jones, PQ Monthly
Richard Jones
Richard Jones

You adore red wine, but your partner does not?  Or vice versa?  They’re too rough, too tart, too sour? Too dry — lacking in fruit?

Maybe you just invited the wrong red to dinner.

Try this one the next time you grill a prime chunk of beef to reward yourself for a productive day at the old nine-to-five: Two Vines 2009 Merlot (Washington State).

Two Vines 2009 MerlotThe first sip sends a clear message. Ripe with clear fruit statements — say something along the lines of ripe black cherry with a bit of plum. Soft, round body — no rough edges, no bitterness. Minimal, if any, oak. Just a wee touch of sweetness. This is the wine that will convert an anti-red partner to the True Faith.

That’s only half the trick. The other half is that die-hard red wine absolutists will also enjoy this wine. Should work well with pizza, roast chicken, maybe even salmon.

And the price? Usually you will see this around town at $10 or $11. Recently, some stores have knocked prices down to $7. If you can find any still on the shelves at $7, why not consider a six-pack and get a 10 percent discount?

Now, about premium wine. About $50 nine years ago.

Recently I had the rare pleasure to sample a few ounces of Pepper Bridge 2001 Merlot (Walla Walla). Rather than attempt to itemize all the flavors, let’s say it danced — something like the Russian Dance from the Nutcracker. More or less.

Richard Jones has imbibed a great deal of vino in his years as a winemaker, wine judge, wine writer, wine publisher, wine lecturer, and wine traveler. When he doesn’t have his nose in a glass, he works as a freelance reporter, and writes the Purple Elbows column for PQ Monthly.