Red Wines for the Family Tasting

“Accept what life offers you and try to drink from every cup. All wines should be tasted; some should only be sipped, but with others, drink the whole bottle.” – Paulo Coelho
My family started the New Year with our traditional dinner of ham, collard greens and black-eyed peas. Pairing 3 varietals of red wines with distinct flavors – Syrah, Pinot Noir and Cabernet Sauvignon – was a fun way to start the year and learn a little about wines from France and California
D’Autrefois Rèserve Pinot Noir (  from the Autrefois region in France started the first round of tasting. This is a ruby red offering with stone fruit aromas and flavors of cherry.  D’Autrefois’ Pinot Noir is a medium bodied wine with a moderate finish that shows a minerality prevalent in the Burgundy region. Pinot Noirs from the Burgundy have a lower alcohol content than many Pinot Noirs from California. The tannins are light with a smooth ending on the pallet.

Next up for the tasting is a 2014 French Côtes-du-Rhône Saint-Espirit Rouge Syrah (www. ). This Syrah is full-bodied with blackberry and vanilla flavors as well as light oak characteristics. Spices are evident in the finish with a hint of pepper rounding off each sip. This is a wine with a long-lasting finish that is higher in acidity and tannins.
Positivevines Helpful Hint: Is Syrah the same as Shiraz? Yes – these are the same grape varietals. In France the grape is a Syrah whereas in the New World (US, New Zealand, etc.) it is called a Shiraz. Remember that terroir significantly impacts the qualities of a grape so a Pinot Noir in France will have a different taste, flavor and finish than a Pinot Noir from California.

Our last wine for the tasting was a Cabernet Sauvignon from California. The San Antonio winery based out of Los Angeles with Paso Robles vineyards features a deep purple and full-bodied wine labeled Maddalena ( ).  The aromas are rose based with plum hints. The tastes are cherry, blackberry and vanilla. The use of use of oak in the winemaking techniques gives spice, balance, smooth taste, and tannins that are smooth to the finish.
How did my family rank these 3 reds? Different than our family white wine tasting, the preferences for the 3 reds varied significantly. The Cabernet was the overwhelming favorite. It was a split between the Syrah and Pinot Noir. The price points range from $18 to $30 per bottle.

Remember to drink what it is that makes you truly happy and always think positively!

Drink Responsibly!

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