Sometimes you just want a glass of wine. Pairing foods with wine is fun, but there are great wines that are easy to drink when you walk in the door after a long day at work, or are relaxing with friends, or are watching a movie. Wines that pair best with food—those higher in acids and tannins—can be tough to drink alone. A smooth wine is more suitable. Here are some options outside the merlot–shiraz–pinot grigio axis of familiarity.
This month’s selections are available at South Lyndale Liquors, 5300 Lyndale Ave. S., Mpls., 612-827-5811.
Zardetto Prosecco NV (Conegliano, Italy) $14.99
100% prosecco. I use this prosecco to greet people in my home year-round. Prosecco is Italy’s sparkling wine—slightly sweet, inexpensive, and fun.
Luzon Jumilla 2005 (Jumilla, Spain) $8.99
65% mourvedre, 35% syrah. This red offers lush, dark blackberry fruit that’s fresh and ready to drink now, but will stay nice for a couple of years in the cellar. This one is for the “red wine only” drinkers. The acid is light, but it has plenty of fruit to balance the surprisingly high alcohol, so it’s a quick buzz on an empty stomach.
Louis Tete Beaujolais-Villages 2005 (Beaujolais, France) $13.99
100% gamay. This red is exploding with fruits, such as strawberries and peaches. It’s light-bodied, but big on flavor. Typical of wines that don’t need food, it’s lower in alcohol and acids. This is a great style of wine for drinking early in the evening or while making dinner.
Domaine Pichot Vouvray 2005, (Loire Valley, France) $15.99
Vouvray is 100% chenin blanc. A bright and rich wine with a nose of honey and flowers. It’s lightly acidic and is young and approachable. Its flavor is a bit on the sweet side, but it’s easy for sipping.
Bill Coy runs Vintage U, which organizes wine tastings, classes, and events for corporate groups, wine enthusiasts, and the general public. Reach him at email@example.com.