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Mouthing Off

By the Editors of Food & Wine Magazine

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Wines Under $20

Today Show: Made in America Wines

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I had a good time appearing on Today this morning, recommending wines for their "Made in America" Friday whip segment. (On the whip they run through four or so variations on a topic in a speedy way.) In this case "made in America" meant not made in California—which was a great chance to highlight some of the other great wine regions in the country. I brought along:

• The NV Domaine Ste. Michelle Blanc de Blancs ($12), a nice, creamy and fairly full-bodied sparkler from Washington State

• The 2008 A to Z Wineworks Rosé ($12), a fragrant dry rosé from Oregon made with (oddly enough) Sangiovese grapes

• A terrific, crisp, Kabinett-style Riesling from the Finger Lakes, the 2007 Hermann J. Wiemer Vineyard Dry Riesling ($17), which will also age beautifully if given the chance

• And one of my favorite Texan wines, the 2006 Flat Creek Estate SuperTexan ($19), a juicy, robust Sangiovese blend that I first ran into while touring around the Hill Country with my father, doing some barbecue research.

Plus, I got to see Al Roker sing part of "Don't Cry for Me, Argentina" from on top of a crane, which was definitely the sort of experience you don't get every day.

Wines Under $20

Pizza Wine Perfection

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Every spring, I wait for that transcendent moment when everything comes together and the season hits its most refreshing, jubilant, birds a-chirping note and there's no looking back to the bleak days of winter. That moment finally arrived last night over a couple of pizzas on the patio of Franny's in Brooklyn. I was with my dear friend John, we could see the Big Dipper, the pies were expertly wood-fired and I discovered the absolutely most perfect pizza wine ever in a glass of Bonarda from Italy's Lombardia region. The 2007 Castello di Luzzano Oltrepò Pavese ($16, find this wine) is deep red and lightly frizzante with lively cherry fruit and a kick of juicy mandarin orange flavor that was incredible with the tangy tomato sauce on our buffalo mozzarella pizza. Served chilled, it's similar to a Lambrusco but not as dark and frothy, just bright and clean. And to think this is only the beginning of patio-Bonarda-star-gazing weather. —Megan Krigbaum

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Congratulations to Nicholas Elmi, winner of Top Chef: New Orleans, the 11th season of Bravo's Emmy-Award winning, hit reality series.

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