I like to think of Mourvèdre, a red-wine grape, as an ideal wine for sipping with grilled foods. It’s heavy-bodied but not oaky; fruity but not a fruit bomb. You get my drift. Basically, it’s a crowd pleaser in that it’s approachable yet it can also stand up to the smoky flavors from a grill.
Here are two wines featuring this luscious grape that would be great to pull out during your next backyard barbecue.
2011 Hahn Winery GSM (Central Coast, California, $14) features 59 percent Grenache, 37 percent Syrah and 4 percent Mourvèdre, resulting in notes of concentrated dark-red fruit, complex layers and a tart finish. (hahnwinery.com)
2011 Cline Cellars Ancient Vines Mourvèdre (Contra Costa County, California, $20) is so lush it might also stack up to desserts, too, in addition to grilled fare. Notes of black cherries and plums are followed by a chocolate finish. Hint: Read the bottle closely because underneath the label is a recipe for Brussels sprouts and bacon. (clinecellars.com)
WINE DEAL OF THE WEEK
The East Side is loaded with happy hour spots but not all focus on wine deals. Fewer still boast a patio. At The Eatery on Farwell each Wednesday are a handful of vino values, all earmarked Wine Wednesday. Each glass of wine costs a buck less and you get $10 off bottles. What’s not to love? I took a peek at the wine list. You can expect a Pinot Noir from France or California’s Central Coast, Garnacha from Spain, Chardonnay from California, Moscato from Italy, Malbec from Argentina and a Zin from California, essentially covering many of the bases.
WINE EVENT OF THE WEEK
Are you feeling like summer is slipping by and you haven’t gotten out of the city limits enough? Lewis Station Winery in Lake Mills will host a food and wine pairing class ($89 per person) on Aug. 10 from 6-9 p.m. The class includes tasting of five wines and, of course, primers in what wine varietal goes with what cuisine to help you pull off your next party. Because you wouldn’t want to match your amazing dip recipe with the wrong wine, right?
WINE OF THE WEEK
One can never sip too much Chardonnay in the summer. A good one to try is 2011 Pali Wine Co. Charm Acres Chardonnay (Sonoma Coast, California, $21) with its jasmine nose, lemon notes and lively punch near the long finish. This is a bright, acidic (yet balanced and with plenty of minerals) Chardonnay. And if you’re curious why the Charm Acres name, here’s the reason: the owners chose to name wines after neighborhoods in their hometown of Pacific Palisades, Calif. (paliwineco.com)