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Table Whining

If your family is anything like ours there’s always wine on the table. Nonna’s favorite is Prosecco, and Pop is happy with whatever you’re pouring. The rest of us have dramatically different tastes when it comes to what we choose to put in our glasses, just as our views on politics, relationships, and life in general vary considerably. With the holidays at our heels the inevitable family feasting and fevered table topics are just a beat away. This year I’m looking for light and lively conversation and a wine to please the masses.

My nightly ritual of polishing the glassware, getting the wine key–yes I still prefer the good ol’ fashioned kind–and picking which wine to review is so engrained I often forget that everyone doesn’t do this. I can go for days sipping simple wines that are fine but without anything special or striking, and I can also hit streaks of wine more worthy of cleansing the sink drain than my palate. It’s the bottles that surprise me that I always hold in my heart. This one in particular went under the radar. Lacking a fancy label, steep price tag, and ridiculously heavy bottle this simple red from the South West of France made me smile at first sip- Les Vignes Retrouvees, Saint Mont, 2006, $11.

When I asked my husband and tasting partner what he thought of it, he responded, “ It’s good. It’s like a table wine.” I was surprised he missed the supple mouth feel, the soft and soothing body, and the finesse in the finish. The fruits were ripe, red, and harmonious with the tannins. Indeed, it was a perfect table wine–one that won’t offend most foods, and one that is sure to entice many into a second or third pouring. While at first I took offense to his comment, I came around to see that it was a huge compliment to the wine, not a crack at it. Able to amicably finish the bottle in one sitting, we decided it was the perfect fit for our next gathering of family and friends. More importantly, it made me so excited to discover what else is pouring from the South West of France!

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