10 Great Reds for Holiday Roasts
Q: What are the best Californian, Italian and French wine values to go with a holiday rib roast?
A: Substantial cuts of meat like a rib roast tend to go well with equally robust red wines, especially ones that have a fair amount of tannic structure. Here are some terrific choices.
2006 Ravenswood Vintners Blend Petite Sirah ($10)
The latest addition to Ravenswood's popular Vintners Blend line is a juicy, dark-fruited Petite Sirah with lots of spice on the finish.
2007 The Show Cabernet Sauvignon ($15)
A full-throttle California Cabernet, this red combines grapes from Sonoma and Mendocino with a touch of Napa Valley fruit. It's polished enough to serve with a rib roast, but it would also be fantastic with burgers.
2007 Louis M. Martini Sonoma County Cabernet Sauvignon ($17)
This renowned Napa winery was established in 1933 and has focused on Cabernet Sauvignon since its inception. That expertise pays off in this lightly dusty, blackberry-rich red.
2007 The Seventy Five Wine Company The Sum ($20)
2008 Bibi Graetz Casamatta Toscana ($12)
The Casamatta (which means "crazy house") is made from Sangiovese, the signature grape of Tuscany. It recalls fresh, wild berries, with a touch of earthiness on the finish.
2006 Santi Solane Valpolicella Ripasso ($15)
Santi is known for its luscious, expensive Amarones. This Valpolicella, typically a lighter wine, is made using the skins of Amarone grapes, which adds richness to its cherry flavors.
2007 Selvapiana Chianti Rufina ($17)
Wines from Tuscany's Chianti Rufina zone are on a par with those from Chianti Classico. Selvapiana's basic bottling is supple and smooth in texture, with cherry and dried-herb notes.
Joe Bastianich on Italian Wines:
2007 Les Deux Rives Corbières Rouge ($10)
Herbal aromas in the rustic fruit here suggest the hillsides of France's Languedoc, where the wine is produced. It's a blend of several southern French varieties, including Grenache and Syrah.
2007 Domaine du Gour de Chaulé Côtes-du-Rhône ($15)
This Rhône estate, founded in 1900, began bottling its own wines in 1972. Its focus on Grenache pays off in this vibrant, raspberry-scented red.
2007 Les Vignes de Bila-Haut ($15)
Famed Rhône Valley winemaker Michel Chapoutier's new project in France's Côtes du Roussillon region is the source for this blackberry-peppery bottling.