Category Archives: Past Articles

There are Plenty of Wines to be Thankful for When Serving a Harvest Dinner

This article originally appeared in the October/November, 2016 issue of Bellingham Alive magazine

The fall and harvest season is upon us, Thanksgiving is just around the corner, and big, indoor feasts will soon be the order of the day.

Trying to pull off a near-flawless menu, especially while coping with family and out-of-town guests, can be a thankless task. So you might be happy to know that choosing wines to serve with traditional autumn foods is a relatively easy, practically fool-proof undertaking.

nullBaked squash, creamy pumpkin soup, sautéed carrots, green beans, mashed potatoes, and even turkey and bread stuffing all have one thing in common…they don’t require much more than either a drizzle of butter or a spritz of salt and pepper to make them complete.

Serving these foods – or for that matter, any other foods that aren’t too heavily seasoned or spiced – gives you the luxury of pairing them with a number of different wines. And because there’s a wine to fit every budget, all you have to remember is to provide your guests with plenty of variety. It doesn’t get much easier than that.


Riesling and Gewurztraminer are considered by many to be standard Thanksgiving wine choices, so why not mix things up and start off with a bottle of bubbly or something light as a nice alternative? These wines should pair well with appetizers or can also be served during the early stages of the meal.

From Northeastern Italy, the Bisol Crede Valdobbiadene Prosecco (about $25) is a great opener to have on hand for your harvest dinner. Gentle green pear and apple flavors lead off and then melt into more of a citrus taste-profile that suggests lemon cream. The sparkling wine’s ultra-fine bubbles also give it a near-silky quality and luxurious finish.

nullFor a lighter-style white wine, try the Tall Sage 2015 Chardonnay (about $10) from Washington’s Goose Ridge Estate Vineyards & Winery. It should pair well with your traditional Thanksgiving dinner and it’s priced right for those on a budget.

Rosés are also price-friendly wines that look pretty, taste delicious, and often make excellent food-pairing choices. A couple of suggestions: The Bergevin Lane 2015 Linen Rosé from Walla Walla (about $15) and the Frescobaldi Toscana Alie Rosé (about $18). The Bergevin Lane Rosé displays juicy watermelon and strawberry flavors to start, with edgier rhubarb and a trace of lime zest on a dry finish; while the Frescobaldi Rosé is a bit more understated, with gentle aromas and flavors of field berries followed by a brisk finish that’s highlighted with a splash of kiwi fruit.


Red wine with white meat? Absolutely! In fact, Pinot Noir may be the quintessential red wine to serve with a Thanksgiving turkey dinner. Its light to medium-bodied style and high acid content make it a natural to pair with poultry and allow it to cut through creamy sauces and gravies.

nullWinemaker Evan Bellingar has done a fine job with his first commercially released vintage, the Bellingar Estates 2014 Oregon Pinot Noir (about $20). It opens with fragrant red cherry aromas and flavors before transitioning into brighter, leaner fruits of raspberry and cranberry and a crisp finish with a touch of earthiness. An added bonus for Oregon Pinot lovers: the highly affordable $20-a-bottle price tag.

Another outstanding and nicely priced Pinot is the Kim Crawford South Island, New Zealand 2014 Pinot Noir (about $19). Lovely star anise on the nose, berry fruit on the mid-palate and tangy, dried cranberry accents make this wine a sensory delight. It also carries a smoky, almost sultry quality, enhanced by the toasted oak finish and an underlying trace of herbaceousness.

If you prefer to stay with white wines, New Zealand has you covered as well, with the Kim Crawford 2015 Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc (about $18). Bold citrus and lime aromas start you off, with tangy gooseberry and tropical fruit flavors, racy acidity, and crush of green herbs on the finish. A possible food-pairing suggestion: oyster stuffing.

And those who prefer their Chardonnays unoaked should enjoy Oregon’s Stoller Family Estate 2015 Dundee Hills Chardonnay (about $25). Freshly baked brioche aromatics, bright Fuji apple flavors, and a slightly citrusy finish with a hint of lemon chiffon all add up to a delightful wine that should pair well with roasted root vegetables, chicken, goose, or turkey.

There’s also absolutely no reason one can’t serve a more full-bodied red wine such as Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon or Syrah with a harvest meal. Just avoid a younger, bolder, and overly tannic red (which might overwhelm the food) and choose something softer, mellower and perhaps a touch on the fruity side and you should be just fine.

The Lobo Hilnullls 2013 Right Bank Blend, Columbia Valley (about $20) is a perfect example of an excellent red wine to have at your Thanksgivingtable. Comprised of 87-percent Merlot and four other Bordeaux region red varietals, it features a tasty array of blackberry, black currant, and cherry fruit along with vanilla bean nuances that are perfectly balanced by a trailing note of gentle acidity.

Also notable is the Ginkgo Forest 2010 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon (about $30). Sourced from Washington’s Wahluke Slope region, this Cabernet is drinking beautifully with luscious black cherry and plum flavors that are accentuated with a whisper of smokiness on a plush, velvety finish. It’s a gorgeous red wine that should be served and savored at the latter stages of your meal.

Wines Increasingly Find Their Place at the Summer Barbeque

This article originally appeared in the August/September, 2016 issue of Bellingham Alive magazine.

Remember the “good old days” of outdoor barbequing? Assemble a stack of charcoal briquettes in the grill, saturate them with lighter fluid, set it aflame, and, more often than not, burn the food to a crisp. Then serve with your favorite six-pack of domestic beer and Kool-Aid for the kids.

Today’s barbequing and outdoor grilling routine is often a major undertaking with glistening, stainless-steel, multi-burner propane and ceramic charcoal grills and menus loaded with racks of beef ribs, kabobs, and pork in every way, shape or form.

Fortunately, wines have also increasingly become a part of the grilling culture; and good wines not only complement practically anything cooked on the barbeque or grill, they add a measure of good taste to any meal that’s prepared or served outdoors.


Have a glass of something sparkling ready for guests as they walk through the door; it’s a great way to begin a barbeque-themed event. These wines make an excellent aperitif, and often pair well with grilled prawns, salads or a variety of creamy dips and spreads on crostini.

nullThe “Dress Code” Collection by Zonin 1821 offers three Prosecco choices using the Glera grape in striking, colored bottles that make excellent event-starter wines at about $17 each.

The White Edition utilizes a bit of Pinot Bianco and features ample flavors of green pear and citrus, with super-fine bubbles that resemble a frizzante-style sparkler; the Grey Edition is blended with a touch of Pinot Grigio, giving the wine a nice minerality component to complement the Fuji apple flavors; and the Black Edition, with 10-percent Pinot Noir, is filled with more crisp apple flavors that lead to a slightly edgy, faintly sweet finish.


Grilled salmon is a Pacific Northwest favorite, and there may be no better wine-pairing partner for this regional seafood specialty than Pinot Noir.

nullFor starters, consider the Willamette Valley Vineyards 2015 Rosé of Pinot Noir (about $24). This big, flavorful rosé is packed with vibrant melon and wild strawberry flavors and capped with a touch of spicy lychee on a crisp finish. Another noteworthy Oregon wine is the Durant Vineyards 2013 La Paloma Pinot Noir (about $35). Lovely aromatics of red cherry carry over to the palate before melting into cranberry and then darker black cherry flavors. There’s a touch of smoky chocolate accentuated by the grape’s signature acidity on the finish. Outstanding!

When burgers, brats, or steaks are on the barbeque menu, a hearty red wine is a must. Walla Walla wineries really shine in this area, offering plenty of flavorful, expressive options that should keep any red wine lover happy.

La Monarcha Winery not only provides affordable wines for your barbeque, it offers a newly-released portable option that allows you take your wines anywhere in a recyclable bag. Holding 1.5 liters of wine, the 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon (about $22) displays plenty of red berry fruit, good acidity and a touch of herbaceousness that will complement grilled meats. For white wine drinkers, a 2014 Chardonnay (about $19) is also available in the same handy container.

Walla Walla winemaker Marie-Eve Gilla has crafted another stunning red wine with her Forgeron Cellars 2012 Columbia Valley Cabernet Sauvignon (about $35). Beautiful field berry aromas start you off, with fruit-forward black plum and cassis flavors, a flourish of cinnamon-spice, and a soft finish with toasted oak accents. It’s an elegant and delicious addition to any outdoor meal.

nullAnother amazing Walla Walla wine is the Rulo Winery 2012 Syrah (about $30). Husband-and-wife winemakers Kurt and Vicki Schlicker continue their mastery of this grape by offering a drop-dead gorgeous Syrah that will leave you smiling. Blueberry and blackberry aromas and flavors fill the glass, and the fruit is seamlessly balanced by slightly textured, yet velvety tannins. Bring on some beef or enjoy this exceptional wine simply on its own.

If you’re planning on grilling something a little more gamey such as lamb, elk or venison, you’ll need an even bigger red wine to match the flavors of the food.

Try the C. Mondavi & Family 2013 Purple Heart (about $20), a powerful blend of Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley. Dark fruits predominate, with ample tannins, crushed herbs and burnt caramel on the finish. The wine is named for the Purple Heart Foundation, an organization benefiting military personnel in need. Also look for the 2014 vintage, scheduled for release this fall.

At the top of the food chain is the Collepiano 2010 Sagrantino Di Montefalco (about $54). This intensely colored, intensely flavored Italian wine explodes with vanilla bean aromas, flavors of black currant, fig, and anise, and a splash of smoky green tea on the finish. Grippy tannins require plenty of aeration, but the payoff is a huge red wine that should stand up to anything on the grill.


Fresh fruit such as apples, pears, pineapple or peaches make excellent, yet simple dessert choices when you pop them on the grill. Serve them with a slightly sweeter wine and you’ve got a tasty, sure-to-please food and wine combination.

A special dessert wine worth considering is the Boutari 2009 Vinsanto (about $48) from Greece.

Made primarily from the Assyrtiko grape, it displays a dark amber color, white raisin and toasted hazelnut flavors, and an ultra-long, honey-like finish. This “liquid baklava” for adults should pair with grilled fruit desserts and provide a fitting finalé to the meal.

Ready for a Picnic? Don’t Forget to Include These Pretty in Pink and White Wine Selections

This article originally appeared in the June/July, 2016 issue of Bellingham Alive magazine.

Late spring and early summer is the time of year when Northwesterners will use almost any excuse to pack up the picnic basket, grab a bottle of wine, and dine outdoors.

nullLeave those heavier, full-bodied reds for the barbeque. Picnicking practically demands you choose something lighter, brighter, and slightly chilled; and here’s where most white whites and rosés really shine.

You’ll find that they pair perfectly with a variety of standard picnic foods such as fried chicken, pasta and potato salads, or even a simple baguette with mild cheeses.

Be sure to put these wines at the top of your list and you’ll be near-certain to please anyone joining you on your next picnic. Here are a few recommendations:


Chill down the Ruffino Lumina 2014 Pinot Grigio (about $10) and you’ve got an excellent picnic-friendly/budget-friendly white wine. It’s clean and green with lovely aromatics of clover and white peach along with zesty lemon/lime flavors and great finishing acidity.

Greek wines have come a long way as of late and if you’ve been concerned about the quality, the Alpha Estate 2015 Malagouzia (about $18) should put those fears to rest. This full-bodied white wine strikes a nice balance between its herbaceous and citrus flavor profiles and a crisp, yet lingering finish is capped with a subtle but distinctive note of evergreen and rosemary.

nullNew Zealand’s Marlborough appellation is world-famous for its Sauvignon Blanc and Kim Crawford Wines serves up a pair of current releases that will make great picnic wines. Their 2015 Sauvignon Blanc (about $18) is loaded with lemongrass and key lime flavors and accentuated with racy acidity and a hint of strawberry rhubarb; and the 2015 Small Parcels, Spitfire Sauvignon Blanc (about $26) is a bit heavier in body and broader ranging with flavors of tropical fruit, pineapple, ruby-red grapefruit and a kiss of stone fruits on the trailing end.

If you prefer your Sauvignon Blancs a little less edgy, then Walla Walla’s Palencia Wine Company 2015 Sauvignon Blanc (about $18) should easily put a smile on your face. This absolute gem of a wine is virtually colorless, yet it explodes with brioche aromatics, luscious pear, peach and nectarine flavors and a brisk finish with a hint of herbaceousness.

Also purchase-worthy is the Palencia Wine Company 2015 Albariño (about $18), which took Best of Show honors at this year’s Cascadia Wine Competition in Hood River, Oregon. Granny Smith apple and kiwi fruits lead off, followed by touches of allspice, green herb, and citrus zest. Try it with a shrimp salad or smoked salmon and cream cheese on crostini.

This year’s release of the Conundrum 2014 California White Wine (about $25) marks the 25th anniversary of a diverse, proprietary blend that’s a perennial favorite of many wine enthusiasts. It explodes with big, juicy Bartlett pear and apricot flavors to start, followed by crisp apple on the mid-palate, and then a faintly sweet finish with a touch of ambrosia.


The Tarantas Non-Vintage Sparkling Rosé (about $10) from Spain is packaged in a beautiful, elongated bottle and made from certified organic Bobal grapes. Generous red currant and red berry flavors fill the glass, followed by a soft, dry finish that’s lightly carbonated.

nullAnother sparkler worth considering is the Ruffino Non-Vintage Sparking Rosé (about $15). Flavors and aromas of wild strawberries highlight this newly released Prosecco that’s blended with a touch of Pinot Noir to provide a lovely shade of pink. The off-dry finish is both slightly crisp and slightly creamy, giving the wine a near-elegant quality that makes it a pleasure to taste.

Rich Funk of Walla Walla’s Saviah Cellars has produced yet another winner with his 2015 The Jack Rosé (about $12). This 50/50 blend of Tempranillo and Sangiovese offers plenty of bang for the buck, with ample red cherry and berry flavors, a splash of acidity and great food-pairing potential; perhaps with prosciutto-wrapped cantaloupe or honeydew melon.

Bold and tasteful, Oregon’s Stoller Family Estate 2015 Pinot Noir Rosé (about $25) displays a shimmering, pale pink color with pleasant aromas of field flowers and slate. It’s followed by an impressive array of flavors from citrus to green melon to Red Delicious apple. A picnic food pairing suggestion: crab-stuffed deviled eggs.

Finally, be sure to try the just-released Jones of Washington 2015 Rosé of Syrah (about $14). The wine’s striking ruby color is matched by mouthwatering flavors of raspberry, strawberry, and watermelon along with laser-sharp acidity and steely minerality on the finish. Incredibly well-priced, it’s an exceptional choice for any picnic basket.

Washington’s Family Wineries Prove That Hard Work Pays Off by Producing Excellent Wines

This article originally appeared, in part, in the April/May, 2016 issue of Bellingham Alive magazine.

If you think that most of Washington’s wineries are large, faceless, corporate-owned entities you might be in for a surprise. In fact, the vast majority of the 850-plus wineries in the state are small, family-owned enterprises that oversee every phase of the winemaking process…from crushing, fermenting and aging the grapes, to bottling, marketing, and distributing the finished product.

This hands-on, personal touch is the hallmark of many smaller wineries, and the “start-to-finish” process requires long hours and dedicated service. But most family-maintained wineries feel this approach results in a quality, attention-to-detail product…and they wouldn’t have it any other way.

Here’s a look at two successful Washington wineries and the people behind these 100-percent family-owned and operated businesses:


Peter and Olga Osvaldik immigrated to the United States from Czechoslovakia with their son, Peter Jr., in 1983. The Osvaldiks moved to Bellingham in 1990 and established Dynasty Cellars five years later, drawing on over 150 years of winemaking experience from Peter’s paternal family.

After progressing through the “hobby phase,” Dynasty had its first commercial release in 2006. “I remember our first commercial wine…seven tons of grapes (at about 100 pounds at a time) through a small ratchet press. It was crazy,” Peter says with a laugh. “I still have that press as a reminder of our beginnings.”

nullFrom its inception, every task associated with the winery has been a family affair. Peter and son Eric work together through the crushing and production phases while Olga and their daughter Monica primarily work in the tasting room and on special events. “We don’t have titles,” Peter says. “We are whatever we need to be that day!”

The winery currently sources all of its grapes from Les Collines Vineyards in Walla Walla, reflecting Peter’s desire to produce single vineyard/single varietal wines.

Current releases include the 2012 vintages of Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, a gorgeous Merlot with silky-soft dark berry flavors, and a bold Zinfandel with blackberry fruit and spicy, peppery finishing notes.

Scheduled for release in April of this year are a 2015 White Wine blend of 90-percent Chardonnay and 10-percent Semillon, and a 2015 Off-Dry Riesling. The remainder of 2016 will include releases of a number of 2013-vintage red varietals including Tempranillo, Primitivo, Syrah and Merlot.

The winery’s sense of family is apparent from the minute one steps into the tasting room, where guests are warmly greeted and often asked, “What can I pour for you?” This, coupled with the care that goes into every bottle, has made Dynasty Cellars a favorite among local wine enthusiasts.

Downplaying credit for his winemaking efforts, Peter humbly notes, “The fate and quality of the wine is determined at the end of fermentation. You’re the guardian; (just) keep the barrels safe and sound until you’re ready to bottle.”

Dynasty Cellars is located at 2169 East Bakerview Road in Bellingham and open Thursday through Saturday from 1 pm to 6:30 pm and Sunday from 1 pm to 5 pm. More information:


Tucannon Cellars is located about 15 minutes west of the Tri-Cities, just outside the Red Mountain Appellation. The winery is named for the Tucannon River near the Blue Mountains in southeastern Washington and owned by father-and-son duo Phil and Ethen Warren and Phil’s wife Danette.

nullPhil started producing wines in 2008, primarily, “to see if he could make a small batch of handcrafted wine for private consumption” notes Ethen. The elder Warren’s wines became popular among friends who, “got so tired of waiting for the next batch they helped and supported him in the winery licensing process,” Ethen recalls.

That took place in 2011, and Phil continued to produce wines in the garage at his Pasco home. Then, as a logical step in the growth of the winery, he purchased Oakwood Cellars on Red Mountain in February, 2014, where Ethen serves as tasting room manager and assistant winemaker while Danette handles the winery’s administrative work.

At that time, Tucannon was primarily focused on making red wines. “We started out just doing reds, but we’ve really gotten more serious about white wines,” Ethen says. That may be in part to a number of stainless steel tanks they acquired from Oakwood, which have been instrumental in the production of white wine varietals such as Chardonnay, Viognier, and Riesling.

In addition to sourcing grapes from the state’s renowned Burgess and Alder Ridge Vineyards, to name a few, the Warrens have also planted two acres of estate-grown red varietals: Carménère and Mourvèdre.

nullOther red wines that have just been released include a lovely 2012 Cabernet Franc, with dried red fruits, hints of milk chocolate, and sweet cedar on a lingering finish with a hint of earthiness; a 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon, with intoxicating aromatics of vanilla wafer, beeswax and meadow grasses followed by red cherry flavors and a touch of hazelnut; and an outstanding 2012 Merlot with black cherry and licorice on the palate, toasted oak accents, and a nice, textured finish.

Production has expanded to about 1,800 cases annually, but that hasn’t had an effect on all the small details the Warrens address while operating their family-owned winery. “We still do everything by hand,” Ethen says, and, noting his increasing involvement in all phases of the winemaking process, “I wouldn’t be able to do it without my dad…and our friends are (also) still a tremendous help.”

Tucannon Cellars’ tasting room is located at 40504 North DeMoss Road in Benton City, just minutes north of Interstate 82, and open Thursday, Sunday, and Monday from 11 am to 5 pm and Friday and Saturday from 11 am to 6 pm. Wines can also be ordered on line at

Light to Medium to Full Body-Style Options are Enough to Keep Any Red Wine Drinker Happy

This article originally appeared in the February/March, 2016 issue of Bellingham Alive magazine.

“Body style” is one of those wine descriptors you hear frequently, but may ignore all together when sifting through the wine section in search of the perfect bottle to serve with tonight’s meal.

Body styles range from light to medium to full, and refer to the richness or weight of the wine on the palate. Confused? Think of the difference between thin, flavorless bottled water and the mouthfeel of sweet, acidic, and flavorful fresh-squeezed orange juice and you’ll get the idea.

Categorizing a wine with a certain body style depends on a number of factors including its fruitiness, acidity, sugar, alcohol, oak, and tannins – that astringent, chalky texture you sometimes find on the wine’s finish. Red wines are especially influenced by these latter two factors, because, unlike most white wines, they are fermented with their high-tannin skins and seeds and then aged in oak barrels.

In addition to making the wine darker in color and more fuller in body, this process also adds complexity to the flavor profile…just one reason why red wines are often both the source of spirited discussion and so much fun to drink.


Pinot Noir should be at or near the top of the list for those who prefer lighter to medium-bodied red wines. The grape’s natural acidity makes it an excellent food-pairing choice, especially with high fat-content foods such as salmon, duck or lamb.

Sourced from 15 acres of the winery’s original plantings, the Willamette Valley Vineyards 2012 Bernau Block Pinot Noir (about $55) is an exquisitely crafted, must-try Oregon Pinot. Slightly edgy, ripe pie cherry and pomegranate flavors lead off, while a velvety soft finish provides both balance and elegance.

The Stoller Family Estate 2013 Reserve Pinot Noir (about $45) is another representation of Oregon Pinot at its finest.

“Meticulous sorting and attentive winemaking were essential,” according to the winery website and this attention-to-detail approach is evident from the first sip. Fragrant raspberry and strawberry aromas carry over to the palate along with just a touch of earthiness. Seamless and silky, a flourish of dried cherry appears on the extreme finish.


Bobal is one of Spain’s most widely grown red wine grapes and it offers wine drinkers plenty of fresh, deep-colored fruit flavors and good acidity that place it squarely in the medium-bodied wine category.

A couple of options: The Isaac Fernandez 2012 Bovale (about $14), a 100-percent Bobal sourced from vines at least 60 years old. Lovely dark berry and cherry aromas and flavors fill the glass, with spicy/peppery accents and a whisper of vanilla on a soft finish; and the Bodegas Mustiguillo 2013 Mestizaje Tinto (about $15) a Bobal-based red blended with touches of Garnacha, Merlot and Syrah. It’s a bit more dense and gritty with reserved blackberry and black currant fruits along with a spritz of white pepper on the finish. Serve it with practically anything beef.

A trio of selections from Walla Walla’s Vino La Monarcha also make solid, medium-bodied red wine choices and offer good value at about $20-a-bottle each.

The 2012 Wahluke Slope Merlot features a soft entry of plummy fruit and a pleasant, darker layer near the finish with a touch of bittersweet chocolate; the 2013 Sangiovese opens with bright raspberry and boysenberry flavors that are perfectly balanced with toasted oak and supple tannins; and the 2013 Malbec is a delicious fruit-forward wine with a mouthful of brambly berries, hints of clove, cinnamon and pepper, and a slightly structured finish that make it an absolute pleasure to taste.

Also from Washington is the Thurston Wolfe 2012 Howling Wolfe Zinfandel (about $20) in Prosser. Red currant and berry flavors are capped with a bit of baking spice, toasted caramel, and a nicely textured finish. It’s a artfully crafted Zinfandel that offers a pleasant break from some of California’s heavy-handed alternatives.


Sagrantino is an Italian wine grape that produces extremely dark, inky, tannic red wines that fall into the full-bodied category. A prime example is the Scacciadiavoli 2008 Montefalco Sagrantino (about $39). It opens with a stunning fragrance of violets and ultra-dark plums followed by flavors of red plum, green tea, a trace of minerality, and chewy tannins. This wine can easily hold up to a medium-rare steak or gamey meats such as elk or venison.

And be sure to consider the current red wine releases from Walla Walla’s Dunham Cellars. These wines are truly the complete package by carrying a full-bodied, yet elegant quality in terms of their flavor profile and taste.

“‘The passion is in the bottle’ is our slogan,” notes Bellingham resident and Dunham Co-Owner/Chairman, David Blair. “We want to celebrate the relationship between fine food and wine (and) deliver a product we’re proud to put our name on.”

Start with the 2013 Three Legged Red (about $19), Dunham’s perennial red-blend favorite that makes for terrific everyday enjoyment. Then take a step up to the 2012 Trutina(about $29), a beautiful, five-varietal blend with a base of juicy blackberry and red cherry fruit, gentle notes of caramel and rose hips, and a slightly herbaceous finish.

nullSingle-varietal wine enthusiasts will love the Dunham 2012 Syrah (about $35), with vanilla bean aromatics, blueberry and spiced black plum flavors, and a finish with a touch more vanilla and a dusting of cocoa powder; and the 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon XVIII (about $45), with a wonderfully complex bouquet of meadow grasses and hazelnuts, reserved flavors of cassis and espresso, and nicely integrated tannins. It’s a superb pairing partner with osso buco.

Dunham’s crown jewel: the 2011 Lewis Vineyard Syrah (about $75). Wild blackberry and graphite on the nose, luscious dark fruit flavors on the palate, and underlying notes of slate and spice box highlight this incredible, faultless wine. It’s luxurious from start to finish and undeniably worth the price.