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The Dozen - Casual Mediterranean Reds

I love filet mignon, and I love hot dogs. It all depends on the occasion and the mood.

In this edition of The Dozen, there are some very enjoyable reds from the Mediterranean region that won’t challenge your tasting skills or your budget. And while it may be a little early for picnics in most of the country, it is certainly beginning to look like deck weather.

In your scramble to get to these everyday reds, don’t overlook the Gary Farrell Chard. It’s suitable for Saturday dinners as well as being porch-worthy.

2018 Kris Venezie Pinot Grigio ($15). Somewhat soft northern Italian Grigio, like the kind you get by the glass at most wine bars.

2017 Talbott Santa Lucia Highlands Chardonnay ($18). A middle-of-the-road Chard – a little creamy, a little sweet with moderate acidity in the finish.

2018 Schloss Johannisberg “Gelback” Rheingau Feinherb Riesling ($23). Off-dry, quite floral, well-balanced, long on the palate, nice “green” note in the finish.

2017 Gary Farrell “Olivet Lane” Russian River Valley Chardonnay ($45). Very enjoyable – fresh fruitiness with citrus notes, lots of minerality and a crisp finish. A very versatile food or sipping white.

2018 Los Dos Campo de Borja Garnacha ($9). Nice everyday red with cherry and raspberry flavors and some savory notes. Don’t be afraid to drop in an ice cube if you sense global warming approaching.

2018 Les Alexandrins Syrah Vin de France ($15). Red fruits at first, then some savory flavors and finally a light, creamy finish.

2016 Falesco “Vitiano” Umbria Rosso IGP ($17). Equal parts Merlot, Cab and Sangiovese, the blend has mostly bright fruits but also some blueberry touches and a little creaminess in finish.

2017 Pratello “Mille1” Rebo Garda Rosso ($18). If you want to stock some everyday wine that will actually improve over the next few years, should you forget you have a bottle or two in your cellar, this is your wine – firm red-fruit flavors with some savory notes and good tannins.

2016 Monsanto Chianti Classico Riserva ($34). Lightish and elegant, but not complex, with good cherry flavors and a hint of wood.

2016 Stéphane Ogier “La Rosine” Collines Rhodaniennes Syrah IGT ($34). A lighter version of the Syrahs Ogier makes across the river in Côte Rotie, it has medium weight, cherry/raspberry flavors with well-integrated tannins.

2016 Dalton Galilee Cabernet Sauvignon ($39). Very good fruit flavors, but with some bitter notes – fresh oak? – in the finish.

2016 Anaba “Westlands” Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir ($60).  A really big Pinot – very ripe fruit and fruit-forward, but with good acidity. The Sonoma Pinot style is increasingly trendy toward jammy, concentrated fruit.

Prices listed are generally SRP or from

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