At a time when we may be lured away for spring picnic rosés and chilled white sipping wines on the sun deck, it is also grilling time — and grilled meats with their charred fats and pink interiors love red wines.
Here are eight whose corks I’ve recently pulled.
2012 Los Vascos Colchaugua Cabernet Sauvignon ($10): Bright red berry aromas and tastes with lots of stuffing — red cherries, red currants, some chalkiness, and moderately good acidity. It will improve for a few years. For grilled hot dogs and seasoned sausages.
2009 Santa Rite “Medalla Real” Maipo Valley Cabernet Sauvignon ($17): Very enjoyable — ripe fruit with some creaminess added to warm red fruit tones and hints of nuts and earth with a tangy finish. A mouthful with lots of tannins. Match with rare strip steaks.
2009 Smith Madrone Spring Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon ($47): A little rustic and traditional — neither a good nor bad judgment — with a somewhat lean structure. It has red cherry flavors, decided herbal notes, some licorice, and easy tannins. Pair with grilled ribs, pork or beef.
2012 Paul Mas La Forge Pays d’Oc Cabernet Sauvignon ($10): Not a typical cab. It’s ebullient with lush red fruits and is very fragrant and floral with lots of coffee flavors. It tones down a bit with airing, but this is a cab for people who love grenache. Serve with grilled chicken legs with lots of fruity glaze.
2012 Château Paul Mas “Clos des Mûres” Coteaux du Languedoc ($18): Mainly syrah with some grenache and mourvèdre, it is a substantial wine with ripe, dark-cherry flavors, light tannins, and good balance. Good with light game.
2012 Paul Mas Coteaux du Languedoc GSM ($18): With about equal parts of GSM (grenache, syrah, mourvèdre), it is a really enjoyable wine with concentrated black raspberry and coffee flavors and a finishing hit of smoke and black pepper. Good structure and smooth tannin, ideal for slow-grilled leg of lamb.
2008 Maryhill Columbia Valley Barbera ($18): Pleasant balance of cherry fruitiness and good acidity with moderate tannins. Nice drinking, but little complexity, so pair with juicy hamburgers.
2010 Maryhill Columbia Valley Sangiovese ($13): A murky wine that lacks inspiration, it has citrus-peel edges and muted tones of dark cherries and earthiness with some green notes. Goes with meaty tasting portobellos.