"God made Cabernet Sauvignon, whereas the Devil made Pinot Noir."
If only every cab could be Opus One, Silver Oak or Groth Reserve! And may the last drop I drink be from the legendary Chateau Léoville Las Cases... okay, back to reality. There are shoes to buy and bills to be paid.
Here are some of my favorite reds. Not a cab on the list, yet lots of pinots. Strap on your seat belt.
- Roessler Cellars Bluejay Anderson Valley Pinot Noir - ($30-$35, 90 points) When I was living in Atlanta, I purchased a bottle of this on name alone. It was so memorable I tried to buy it online, but it was sold out. I joined the wine club just so I get a surprise bottle every so often in the mail. It's one of my little joys.
- Kendall-Jackson Vintner's Reserve Merlot - ($13-$25, 88 points) The price of this wine jumps all over the place, so get it when it's cheap. Every time I serve it, someone admires the wine and asks what they're drinking. They're always surprised it's KJ.
- Zaca Mesa Santa Ynez Valley Syrah - ($20, 92 points) A cook a mean petite filet and this big and bold red pairs perfectly with it. It would be spectacular with lamb too. A steal for the quality and not for the faint of heart!
- Francis Coppola Diamond Pinot Noir - ($12-$20) Easy to drink and summery, I was seduced by all of the Coppola wines after visiting the vineyard in Napa. The winery seems straight out of a film (naturally). It's dark and sexy and built like one of those homes in the Godfather. Not to break the spell, but I love pairing this pinot with hamburgers!
- Cambria 2006 Julia’s Vineyard Pinot Noir ($18-$23, 93 points) Wine Enthusiast calls this the best Pinot Noir at this price on the market and number one of their top 100 wines. Here's how they describe it. Absolutely dry and silky, with complex flavors of cherries, Mandarin orange, cola, pomegranates, licorice and cinnamon spice, made even richer by smoky oak. How could you resist?
- Francis Coppola Sofia Rose - ($12-$16) This deep pink wine is nothing like a white zinfandel. The finish is dry and I couldn't resist the sexy bottle. Perfect for our dwindling summer afternoons and gorgeous as a hostess gift.