“Wine list, wine list — when are you sending me a list of wines to try,” friend Nancy reminded me in a recent email.
Nancy enjoys the occasional glass of wine and likes Rieslings and sweeter style reds. Not too heavy. No oak, thank you.
So Nancy, this weekend’s shopping list is for you! Prices are suggested retail cost. You are bound to find sales. They’re available everywhere.
Turning Leaf Merlot California, $7.99
Turning Leaf is E. & J. Gallo’s everyday single-varietal line. If you can taste the difference between Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Pinot Noir, you will pick up very distinct flavors — correct flavors — with these varietals. If you don’t know the difference between a Cab and Merlot, not to worry. Merlot is my favorite of the Turning Leaf family — it’s all about forward fruit — blackberry, dark plum, cocoa — with a hint of sweetness.
Ménage à Trois Red Blend California, $12-$14
Moving up the price ladder, this is the blend of Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot that lit a fire four or five years ago under the category of red wine blends. It’s made in a sweeter style, and is packed with concentrated, intense fruit flavors — it’s like a dark berry jam. This baby also will coat your teeth a nice dark berry color. People love it.
Chateau Grand Traverse Late Harvest Riesling 2012 Michigan, $14
This is the “special” wine to look for. It truly is celebration-worthy. It’s widely available and it’s probably the top seller at this important, pioneering Michigan winery. It offers powerful Riesling flavors — citrus, floral, tropical tones — balanced with good acidity and made in a sweet style.
Banrock Station Pink Moscato Australia, $8-$11
This is a sweet, refreshing rendition of Moscato ever-so-light in alcohol — just 6 percent (compared to table wines that are usually 12 percent). It’s like fresh-pressed tart grapes with a touch of sugar. Freeze a table grape or two to add to your glass.
You can reach Sandra Silfven at email@example.com.