Red Knot Shiraz, McLaren Vale, 2012 ($16)
Looking for a moderately priced and easy-to-find wine for your summer grilling? Red Knot Shiraz is a good quality for value option. The wine is aromatic with notes of milk chocolate, smoke, coffee, and ripe fruit. On the palate, moderate tannins, medium body, good acidity, and silky texture with primary fruit and spice, and integrated oak influence. A solid everyday wine, and a great option for summer barbeque.
Geyser Peak “Walking Tree” Cabernet Sauvignon, Alexander Valley, 2011 ($28)
This is an easy-drinking and approachable cab. Stylistically, it’s meant to be food-friendly, rather than big and tannic. On the nose, notes of fresh and mulled blueberries, bacon, nut, and fig. On the palate, cherry preserves, pepper, and umami with smooth tannins and refreshing acidity. This wine is both structured and refined.
Pairing suggestions: Burgers with gruyere on toasted brioche, kebabs, barbecued ribs, grilled pizza with spicy sausage, grilled pulled pork nachos.
Both of these wines have national distribution.