Monday, January 29, 2007

Big Night In: the NV Dover Canyon Renegade Red

Need something to do this Friday night? Rent (or re-rent) Big Night Out, the wonderful movie about two brothers and their adventures with an Italian restaurant, start cooking some Italian food, and pop the cork on this rich, complex, spicy, and oh-so-easy to drink red blend. It cries out for pizza, pasta with red sauce, grilled meats, or any of the other dishes for which Italy is famous.

The NV Dover Canyon Renegade Red ($10.99, Colorado Wine Company; $10 direct from Dover Canyon) is a delicious example of a zinfandel-based blend with excellent QPR. It's made from a combination of zinfandel, sangiovese, barbera, and syrah, which gives it a distinctively Italian sensibility. This is a domestic red blend that gets it right, and that is priced right, too!

Jammy raspberry and blackberry aromas are accompanied by whiffs of black pepper and cinnamon. Tastes of rich red fruits, spice, cedar, and pepper follow, with hints of blueberry and roasted meats as you swallow. There's not much of a lingering aftertaste, but who cares! This wine is so approachable and easy to drink you don't need a lingering finish to get you to take another sip. At this price, I would definitely buy more and its softness, medium body, and low tannins would make it a great wine for a party since it is one of those reds that doesn't require food to be at its best.

Dover Canyon is a deliberately small winery in the Paso Robles AVA. Winemaker Dan Panico and his partner, Mary Baker, supervise the making and marketing of these wines and their careful management of the grapes and the winemaking is evident in this bottling. Mary also keeps a wonderful blog that gives those who drink their wine an insight into the place, people, and pets of Dover Canyon. Visit their site, explore their wines, and see if you can't get some Renegade Red for your next pizza, pasta, or movie fest.

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