What to Drink Now

Episode IV: Spicy Reds


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What to Drink Now Spicy red wines are as varied as the spices you might find in them, though they theoretically share spiciness. What that spiciness is, black pepper, white pepper, a rustiness, spice box, allspice, we may not agree on; though the point is that there is some sort of innate spiciness that makes the wines appealing on a certain level.

As I explored this group of wines, I was stuck once again how each of these wines could be easily slotted into an alternate category, so I’ll take this opportunity to repeat the premise for this series of articles. It is not to definitively classify wine, but rather to create connections between certain wines that may share a character trait, which in turn, helps you find wines that you might enjoy. That’s all. It’s simply to have some fun, open some eyes and extend the great trip of discovery to some less obvious places. I hope you enjoy it!

Photo courtesy jo-h via Flickr/CC

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  • Great article, what beautiful photos, too: they capture the essence of these wines.

    Aug 29, 2011 at 2:52 PM

  • Snooth User: mrmwines
    415340 7

    Agree. Great article and the pictures do an incredible job depicting the tastes as much as the words do! Bring on the spice....!

    Aug 29, 2011 at 5:13 PM

  • Snooth User: Seabrooker
    167088 56

    Very nice article - the words and pictures caught the essence of all these slightly out-of-the- way wines. Mourvedre/Monastrell is one of my favorites, grown either in N. California (several Amador wineries) or Jumilla, Spain. And you can get Lemberger/Blaufrankisch from a winery in Pennsylvania (http://www.vynecrest.com) - it grows well there.

    Aug 29, 2011 at 5:28 PM

  • Snooth User: Ron Fannin
    553786 45

    There are some spicy native American and French-American hybrids, too, that are pretty well out of the mainstream. Norton (or Cynthiana, depending on who you talk to) often has very noticeable clove/cinnamon notes, as does Chambourcin. For spiciness you can't beat Heinrichshaus Cynthiana (St. James, MO). For smoothness, the St. James Winery Norton Reserve is an excellent alternative to Cabernet or Merlot. Give some thought to exploring these out-of-the-way wines and wineries.

    Aug 29, 2011 at 7:37 PM

  • I fell inlove with an Argentinian Malbec from Las Vides winery. My husband and I sampled a glass at, would you beleive, a holidy Inn in Noethern California. It was full-bodied, and was a perfect accompaniment to our steaks. Do you know any other good Malbecs, Argentinian or not?

    Aug 29, 2011 at 10:52 PM

  • Snooth User: whauptman
    864967 2

    Spicy reds are great on long fall evenings. We always have some during this time here i Switzerland with game, especially boar. Nothing better. I can add that a Swiss wine, probably very difficult to find outside of Switzerland, is a Humagne Rouge, very spicy in its youth. No one seems to know where it got its name. The grapes are grown in the Valais region, but in small quantities. Very attractive if you can find it.

    Aug 30, 2011 at 3:55 AM

  • I just Lemberger for the first time a few weeks ago at a winery in Staunton,VA. It was fantastic, and the bottle we took home paired perfectly with our grilled steak kabobs with mushrooms and eggplant and red pepper sauce.

    Aug 30, 2011 at 11:45 AM

  • Snooth User: Urban Taj
    916279 21

    Hi, When it comes to spicy red wine, you have to look into Wines from India. York Shiraz. Spicy Red Wine from India. http://www.DrinkUpNY.com/York_Shira...

    Aug 31, 2011 at 11:14 AM

  • HaBsburg!

    Sep 12, 2011 at 7:51 PM

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