Hearty Reds for Your Valentine

February 2023
Written By: 
James Ginley
Photographs by: 
courtesy of the wineries

Wines to pair with a day of romance

Daou Bodyguard 
Red Blend 2020 
Paso Robles, CA   $36
A unique blend of 65% Petit Verdot and 35% Petite Syrah, this full-bodied wine has an intense nose of red fruit and notes of fennel, black olive and wintergreen. The palate offers hints of truffle, sage, and rich fruit leading to a lingering finish. A go-to red for grilled or roasted meats. Earned a 93-point rating from Jeb Dunnuck, independent wine critic.

Cline Big Break Zinfandel 2018
Central Coast, CA   $38
Grapes from century-old vines create this powerful Zinfandel, with 15.5 % ABV.  Aromas of strawberry and mint lead notes of vanilla, exotic spice, and coffee from 12 months aging in French oak barrels. The old vine grapes and aging process make this robust wine a good candidate for your cellar. This wine goes well with spicy barbecue and brisket, Italian red sauces, and pepperoni pizza.

Pure Paso J Lohr Proprietary Red 2018
Paso Robles, CA   $30
Longtime California winery, J Lohr Vineyards, has introduced this special blend of Cab Sauv and five other lesser grapes. On the nose, aromas of black cherry, toasty brioche and mint, followed by more cherry and fudge flavors with bright acidity and lively tannins. This full-bodied red has 14.5% ABV and is best enjoyed with cheeses, roast beef or lamb, and anything chocolate. It earned a 93-point rating from Wine Enthusiast.

Schug Carneros 
Pinot Noir 2018  
Carneros, CA   $34  
Pinot grapes from several vineyards make up this complex wine with a bouquet of cherry and spicy oak. The mouthfeel is a combination of black cherry, currant, and strawberry, followed by a rich and long silky finish. It pairs well with lamb, duck, and grilled fish. A few more years in your cellar would only enhance this Burgundian-style Pinot Noir. James Suckling awarded it a 93-point rating.

Taken Napa Red 2015
Napa Valley, CA   $32
Another big red, this one from Napa Valley. A blend of five grapes, with Zinfandel the predominant one.   Aged four months in new oak, with a nose of raspberry and blackberry. On the palate, hints of jasmine and vanilla bean with quince, fig, and dark chocolate flavors. A full-bodied wine with rich, supple tannins on the finish. You’ll love it with roasted beef, lamb, and casseroles.