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 Splash 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 caramel accents. It has a 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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