Amidst their fruit flavors, red wines can bring pleasing spice notes, too. Flavors such as allspice, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, star anise and pepper can come either from the grapes themselves or from oak barrels used in the winemaking process. Spice-tinged red wines can enliven the hearty, straightforward foods of winter, such as our pork chops, burgers and roasts. Here are a few spicy reds I like.
Spicy Red for Winter Meals
Banfi 2007 Chianti Classico Riserva (Italy; $18): Ripe red fruit and vibrant spice combine for an especially lively choice.
Tormaresca 2009 “Neprica” (Puglia, Italy; $12): Find spicy anise notes and shimmery dark fruits in this delightfully dry blend of Negroamaro, Primitivo and Cabernet Sauvignon.
Kendall-Jackson Vintner’s Reserve 2009 Syrah (Santa Barbara County; $16): Spicy oak, cola and boysenberry notes balance the otherwise deep fruit flavors in this full-bodied bottle.
— By Wini Moranville