The New Year is upon us, which is the perfect time to mix things up. Try something new and try multiple things at once.  After all, one way to figure out what you like is to figure out what you do not like.  Make a resolution to go to more parties and gatherings, and put yourself in a position to meet people.

4 Red Blends for Break-Fast or a Dinner Date:

1. Zolo Signature Red

Zolo Signature Red is produced from sustainable vineyards in Mendoza, Argentina.  It’s sort of a Bordeaux meets Mendoza (or a Bordoza if you want to take it there). 35% Cabernet Sauvignon, this selection is delightfully blended with Merlot, Bonarda and Malbec for a fresh and drinkable red that still has personality. Try it chilled – with or without a juicy piece of meat – in the early weeks of fall while the afternoon air is still warm.

2.  Zamo Rosso

If you like big and hearty reds, Zamo Rosso is straight up your ally. It comes from a small producer in the Friuli region in northeastern Italy. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and indigenous grape Refosco meld into a great earthy green, smoothed over with spices, thanks to six months in oak barrels prior to release. The beauty of this blend is that it’s rarely overwhelming. The crispness of the climate translates into the bottle.

3.  Morellino di Scansano (La Selva)

It may be news to some of you, but Chianti is traditionally a blend of grapes made principally from Sangiovese, the most predominate red grape grown in Tuscany – plus local grapes like Colorino and Malvasia. Its snappy ripe cherry notes and gamey qualities practically call a farm to mind – making rich ragùs and the finest wild game an ideal match for this selection. Morellino, as Sangiovese is referred to in southern Tuscany, is essentially the Chianti of the South. Adding complex mineral notes to the mix – southern Tuscany is laced with healing hot springs – and you have Morellino di Scansano. La Selva’s  version is 100% certified Organic and only aged in stainless steel, which make it lighter and livelier than most.

4. Côtes du Rhône, Dom. des Bacchantes.

Le Sigh. Expert blenders, the French really know how to put it together.  This Syrah-based blend also utilizes Mourvèdre and Grenache. It’s got a bouquet simply bursting with wild berries, leather and balsamic herbs as well a douse of smoke and spice for good measure. Its warm and rustic qualities make it a perfect companion for weightier dishes like lamb tagine or stuffed cabbage. Of course, you can also simply enjoy it on its own.

Annie Shapero is the Founder/CEO of DiVino wine events planning and wine consulting, currently operating in New York City.
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