Thursday, February 10, 2011

Valentine Wines To Love: Wild Rock Cupid’s Arrow Central Otago Pinot Noir 2008 and St. Francis 2007 Red Splash

A unique New Zealand Pinot and
tasty California blend
Looking for some nice wine choices to serve your cutie on Valentine's Day? Here are a couple of bottles to consider: Wild Rock Cupid's Arrow Pinot Noir and St. Francis' Red Splash, a tasty red blend from Sonoma.

We popped the cork on Red Splash at a chilly party at a friend's house. We had a nice assortment of finger food including crab and salmon dips, veggies, hummus and more. We were playing Kinect, which involved a lot of hand waving, jumping around and competing against cartoon characters on the screen. It's a good way to work up a thirst.

The Red Spash is a blend of 40% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot, 18% Syrah, 8% Cabernet Franc, 5% Zinfandel, and a small dash of Petite Sirah, Petite Verdot and Malbec. It opens up with a touch of spice, followed by round raspberries and then has a nice smooth finish. The wine is aged 24 months in French and American oak and is well balanced. This is an easy drinking blend that is a great value at about $10. The blend changes each year.

Try Red Splash with lasagna, sausage and peppers, pepperoni pizza, cheeseburger, grilled pork and grilled salmon.

Cupid’s Arrow is medium purplish red in color. The aroma was strong with berries and herbs. This was an interesting wine to decipher. Tart cherry flavor notes were polished with carmel accents. It has softness and a light to medium body. The wine is aged in French oak with 30% new barrels. This is a wine best enjoyed with food, particularly with strong meat dishes such as game or lamb.

Of the two, the Red Splash stands out as a great choice for a Valentine's Day wine. Cupid's Arrow was a near miss. It's worth picking up for something different (how many New Zealand Pinot Noirs have you had?) but we suggest that it accompany your meal. The cost is about $20.

Full disclosure: We received these bottles as samples.
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