Red wine blends make interesting mixtures

Winemakers have been blending together grapes for millenniums. Sometimes out of a dearth of knowledge, sometimes out of experimentation, sometimes out of methodology, this blending has produced some interesting flavors as well as some crazy concoctions.

The following red wine blends from around the world all offer something distinctive in taste but at a reasonable price. So, while you’re enjoying these blends, try and think of who, where or what these mixtures remind you of as well as what they bring to the table. You never know what you’ll get when it comes to wine alchemy.

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Dinner parties made with great wines, good friends

Dinner parties with friends and other couples are a great way to entertain and create a stronger bond. Nothing shows your endearment towards friends more than cooking, serving and sharing a nice dinner with them in the trappings of your own home.

From great dinner parties arise great conversation, interesting wine discoveries and that connection of having gotten to known someone better. I’ve teamed up with a good friend of mine, who is a recovering chef and graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, to help me to put together this Italian-themed wine dinner.

The best part about doing an Italian wine dinner is that most Italian wines make for great food wines. We decided to kick ours off with a fantastic white wine from the toe of the Italian peninsula. The 2006 Statti Greco is versatile and ready to go as either an enjoyable welcoming wine or first course partner.

Its pleasant mineral notes and stone fruit flavors create a soft, rounded wine that isn’t marred by barreling. If you’re tired of the same old soup starter, then this wine makes for an excellent compliment to a risotto small plate. The recovering chef recommends serving a light seafood risotto infused with basil and combined with scallops and shrimp.

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Three countries wage battle for the best rosé

There’s a battle royale brewing this year over who’s been putting out the best rose’ wines. Historically, French rosé from Bordeaux and the Rhone Valley have been the unchallenged heavyweight champions of the world. But recently, the Americans and even the Italians have done some serious training, beefed up their outputs and thrown their hats in the ring. As a result, this year’s rosé releases have been interesting enough to warrant a three-way brawl as to who’s bottling the best.

Italian rosé wines are, in a word, different. The recurring theme to keep in mind with Italian rosé is that it’s not as fruit driven. Indeed, they’re scruffy little wines that are typically bone dry and beckon for a food partner to truly maximize their potential. Both the 2006 Regaleali Le Rosé and the 2005 Valle Reale Cerasuolo Rosé shared these common traits, as well as having aromas that emanate scents of a funky old-world cheese.

The Valle Reale Rosé from Abruzzo showed a better one-two punch ability as both a food wine and a solo sipper. It found its stride late in the match.

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