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Wines Under $20

Tasty Australian Red

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I have no idea if it's poured in airports around the country, but the 2007 Pillar Box Red ($12, click to find it), a black-fruited, lively, spicy blend of Shiraz, Cabernet and Merlot seems to me an ideal sort of pre-flight nerve calmer, if you're the sort who suffers from pre-flight nerves. The fruit comes largely from the Padthaway vineyards of producer Henry's Drive, then is whacked into shape by Australian winemaking-guru Chris Ringland, who puts it in a mix of French and American oak for a modest three to four months. Even if you don't suffer from pre-flight jitters it would still take the dullness out of an extended airport stay, something I was contemplating as I tasted it. I'm headed off today for a bit, so Tasting Room may be erratic—or more erratic than usual—over the next week. Fair warning given!

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