Sunday, May 29, 2011

You've Got a Friend in Me!

We have all had those days where we get home from work and really want a glass of wine. Okay, let’s be honest with each other... there are those nights we really need a glass of wine. However, maybe you don’t want to dig out the bottle you have been cellaring for 10 years, or that really expensive bottle you are saving for a special occasion. On the other hand, you don’t want to drink swill that sells for about two bucks. On those nights I find myself staring at my wine cabinet and there is only one bottle that is staring back at me, that is calling to me. In fact, it smiles at me, just asking to be the chosen one. On those nights, I reach for some Friend’s Red, from Pedroncelli Winery.

Before Katie’s Uncle Jim and Auntie Zee brought us to Pedroncelli and I first tried Friend’s Red, I would usually shy away from table wines or anything was as non-descript as “red wine.” However, Jim and Zee raved about all the wines at this place so much that we just had to go and try it. Granted, they are a little biased towards Pedroncelli, as members of Club Ped and the 2011 bocce ball tournament champions. However, after our visit, I see what all the fuss was about.

Friend’s Red is a blend of Zinfandel, Syrah, Merlot, and Sangiovese. I first notice the subtle spice of Zinfandel, while the Merlot and Sangiovese offer the fruit profile and the Syrah gives some weight to the whole thing. When you drink Friend’s Red, it stays with you and you can detect the hints of strawberry and pepper. Many table wines I have had before are so over-blended you feel like you are drinking the barrel leftovers without any thought or craft. Friend’s is not that wine. This is a smooth drinking red wine that stands on pretty strong legs. And now the best part, Friend’s Red is only $10 bucks a bottle, which makes it such a great everyday drinking wine.

Pedroncelli Winery, located in the Dry Creek Valley, is all of the things that we at WestToast love. Family owned? Check. Knowledgeable and friendly tasting room staff? Check. Easy drinking wines? Check. Non-intimidating approach? Check. Each of the wines we tasted, from the East Side Vineyards Sauvignon Blanc to the hearty Mother Clone Zinfandel, are wines I would enjoy again and again. No wine will force you to empty your wallet, yet you still know that you are drinking quality, individually crafted wines. And all will leave you smiling. ;)



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