Now that it is starting to warm up, thoughts of the outdoor grill spring to mind. I'm going to give you a list of my favorite wines for these hot summer nights. Here we go;

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162; Barbera- This is a red wine which originates from northern Italy. I cannot think of a better "all around" red than this soft and very lush red wine. Known for its lower acid levels and very easy drinking style, the noble Barbera grape is perfect for just about any red meat grilled foods, especially lamb and pork dishes. The best Barbera comes from the Piemonte region of Italy and names such as Ca' D'Baio, Prunotto, Vietti and Conterno are some of the best of the bunch. I particularly enjoy the wines from Alba, Italy for their very spiced out quality and deep purple hues. These are lovely wines.

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162; Zinfandel- I have never been a crazy guy over Zinfandel but the latest crop of Zins have been very good indeed. My problem with Zinfandel happens to be what makes them perfect for the grill; big, powerful rich palate gripping reds with tons of fruit and plenty of alcohol. This is the only time I drink Zinfandel and it works like a champ. Try to buy Zinfandel from Lodi, Paso Robles or Amador County, California. Ridge Zinfandels have always been the bomb when it comes to Zinfandel of power and overall great winemaking. There are many superb Zinfandels to choose from so have at them! Remember, Zinfandel can really get up there on the alcohol scale so be careful when sipping on them, they catch up on you!

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162; Tempranillo- The Spanish make wines destined for grilling. I love Spanish red wines of all types and flavors. The Rioja wines are powerful red wines with long, warm finishes and very elegant flavors. You can find some real bargains in the Rioja as well as in other parts of Spain. Poke around the fifteen dollar mark and you will taste some real charmers indeed. One of the great flavor components of Spanish wine are the use of oak in the winemaking process. Many Spanish wines are made using American oak which imparts a very unique flavor to these hefty reds and fills the glass with hints of spice and vanilla.

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162; Sangiovese- The Tuscan red wines of the last few vintages have been stunning red wines. The Chiantis are rich, vibrant and have that hint of old world elegance that makes them new world favorites. I think that the red wines from central and southern Italy are loaded with style, are affordable and offer the consumer a wonderful bang for the buck. Many of these estates have been making winre for over a hundred years and many of them for two or three hundred years with generation after generation of family members working side by side to give us superb offerings! It is no wonder that these wines have become the fastest growing segment of the under twenty dollar red wines in America.

Well, there you have them. See you next week for more wine fun!