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Do-Good Wines
An Australian winery partners with the (PRODUCT)Red campaign to do good.

Over the years there have been quite a few ways to support efforts to fight for an AIDS-free generation in Africa through the (PRODUCT)Red campaign, among them the Inspi(red) T-shirts from The Gap and Beats by Dr. Dre headphones. Penfolds Winery, a longtime and well-respected Australia winery, has been a partner in this campaign for two years by donating 15 percent of profits from some of its wines to The Global Fund, which is behind the (PRODUCT) Red campaign.

I found the 2010 Penfolds RED Koonunga Hill Red Shiraz Cabernet Sauvignon (South Australia, $14) to be of excellent value. (Plus, you’re putting your money toward a good cause – what’s not to love about that?) The wine features rich chocolate and coffee notes along with dark-berry flavors and a finish with fine-grain tannins. In the wine is 75 percet Shiraz and 25 percent Cabernet Sauvignon. Pick up a gift pack of three Penfolds red wines, including this one, through wine.com for $39.99. The wines are also sold at Otto’s (http://www.ottoswineandspirits.com), Balistreri-owned Sendik’s and Pick ‘n Save stores, including Metro Market.

Wine Lovers Wednesdays is a tres bonne idée at Trocadero on the East Side. While the offerings change weekly, there’s one constant, which is that it’s always a good deal – and worth a hump-day Happy Hour – if you like to drink wine. Half-off bottles and a deeply discounted glass of wine as a featured pick of the evening are but two examples.

One of the best joys in being a steady wine drinker is the rare opportunity to meet a winery representative. (Not so rare if you live in San Francisco, of course). Mason Street Grill is bringing one of Napa Valley’s best biodynamic producers to the restaurant for a wine dinner on Jan. 25. The restaurant’s chef, Mark Weber, will be put to task on pairing winter fare with Grgich Hills Estate’s wines, turning to dishes like wild sea bass, butter-poached West Coast mussels and saffron nage (that’s just the first course) and Reilly Brothers Wisconsin Angus with chili cheese grits or caramelized shallot blackberry bordelaise. Wait, there’s more. How does banana macadamia cake with chocolate rum panna cotta and coconut crème sorbet sound? Sean Barrett, who is Grgich Hills Estate’s sales manager in this region, will preside over the dinner, which starts at 6 p.m. with a short reception before easing into the hearty meal a half hour later. Tickets cost $85 per person; call 414-298-3131 or email beckimckenna@masonstreetgrill.com to hold a spot at the dinner table.

Confession: I drink white wine year round. There’s something about the crisp, chilled factor that I find refreshing. Yet I don’t want to sip a pineapple or guava when icicles are hanging from my roof, you know? After the first snowfall I start looking for winter-white wines, which are bottles of white wines that are ideal for the cooler months, particularly when pairing with hearty dishes like pastas, soups, braised meats and stews. 2011 Ferrari-Carano Vineyards & Winery “Bella Luce” White Wine Blend ($16) is packed with orange-blossom, peach and apple notes and features a nicely balanced acidity that lingers on the palate, along with some vanilla. (www.ferrari-carano.com)

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