It’s time I started talking about BBQ reds — big, juicy crowd pleasers to delight all the gang. And stand up to whatever meat you’re burning.
Just kidding. Because I’m value conscious let’s start the season with a few great buys from Chile, today’s best country for bargains in rich reds. Something else you should know is Merlot is making a comeback. Honest. Well, at least for this weekend.
Cono Sur is the fun, but seriously good, winery run by those who understand what younger drinkers enjoy — tasty, inexpensive wine with recognizable names and no mention of tradition.
Anyone who has tasted a Cono Sur wine will probably have been thrilled with its value and yummy drinkability. The winery motto is “no family trees, no dusty bottles, just quality wine.”
The 06 Merlot is rich with delish, plummy, warm flavours and the kind of gusto that works great with a barbecued burger or steak.
It’s nourishing, stimulates the palate and is cheerful. In other words, it’s perfect. All this for just $10.
Last Saturday’s Vintages release has two more great values from Chile.
A blockbuster Syrah (same as Shiraz) from De Martino that is so rich it should not be poured till everyone is seated. And something that you may not have experienced — a super rich dry Rose that would be a great partner with a spicy white meat or seafood dish.
This is another “sitting down wine,” not an early evening refresher.
More picks are posted on my website at www.billysbestbottles.com.
Happy barbecuing ... and drinking!
Billy Munnelly is author, wine critic and publisher of Billy’s Best Bottles Wineletter and Billy’s Best Wines For 2007, a guide to the best wines at the LCBO, available in bookstores or through www.billysbestbottles.com. Sign up for his free wine e-letter at www.billysbestbottles.com.