December 22, 2004

Clos de Gilroy 2004 California Grenache

Bonny Doon Vineyard, Santa Cruz, Calif.; about $12.50

Better than Beaujolais Nouveau but just as insouciant, Clos de Gilroy has just been pressed, bottled and rushed to the stores. Bright, glowing red, it's a festive, flirty little thing, all raspberry sass and red-cherry cheer, the sort of wine that would liven up a party or dinner with the inlaws.

While its sweet red fruit flavors would jazz up the standard cherry-studded Christmas ham, keep in mind that Gilroy is the garlic capital of the U.S.; garlic sausage, garlic bread, or 40-clove chicken wouldn't be too much for it to take. It may be see-through, but it's no wimpy wine.

This recommendation originally appeared in the Denver Post.

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