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Galveston Monthly

Red Wines For Winter

Jan 05, 2020 09:50PM

The cold evenings of winter seem to demand the warmth that comes from a rich bottle of red. The heavier meals of the season seem to pair more easily with bigger reds, too. As bills arrive from the holiday season, the wallet may also be insisting on a tighter budget. If this sounds familiar, try these top-rated red wines; all six are available through Spec’s. 

Domaine Bousquet Malbec (2014) - Notes of raspberry and dark chocolate combine with soft tannins and refreshing acidity followed by a hint of peppery spice throughout the finish, this organic wine is a classic example of Argentinian Malbec at a great price. $9.99 

Chateau Bonnet Bordeaux (2016) - This merlot-based red blend sourced from clay and limestone soils is an affordable expression of the Bordeaux region. The wine is both nicely structured and easy to drink with bright red fruit and a pleasant finish, as well as charming and easy to serve. $15.78. 

Messina Hof GSM (2017) - Jammy notes of blackberry and plum combined with a peppery finish make this Texas red blend a crowd pleaser - rich, hearty, and tasty with beef or lamb. $18.83 

Chateau des Capitans Juliénas (2015) - This family estate is in the Juliénas part of the Beaujolais region. The wine is made from 100% Gamay grapes, and it displays a rich texture with juicy, red-cherry fruit that shines through to the lingering finish. Delicious to enjoy alone or pairs well with a wide range of food. $19.46. 


Chemistry Willamette Valley Pinot Noir (2017) - This wine is a collaboration between the winemakers of Stoller Family Estate and Chehalem. Fresh and bright with notes of cherry cola and a hint of spice, easy drinking, and food friendly. $20.99 

Tablas Creek Vineyard Patelin de Tablas - This wine from Paso Robles is a blend of four red grapes: Syrah, Grenache, Mourvedre, and Counoise. It has notes of blackberries, mint, and leather with a persistent savory finish. Excellent with most meaty meals from venison to pork. $25.57 

Wine in the News

  Lovers of European wines were warned of an impending hit to their pocketbooks last fall when new 25% tariffs which total $7.5 billion were imposed by the Trump administration. This move was in retaliation to the European Union for providing subsidies to Airbus, the French aerospace and defense corporation, due to concerns that these subsidies put Chicago-based Boeing Company at a disadvantage. The World Trade Association agreed with this assessment which then allowed for the Office of U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) to make the changes.

  The new tariffs are being attached to an array of E.U. goods which are currently imported into the states and include things like wine, cheese, olive oil, and Scotch. For wine lovers, the immediate concern is rising costs on still wines from France, Germany, and Spain, although Great Britain is also included. Right now, these tariffs are on wines which are under 14% alcohol by volume. The new costs must be paid by importers upon the wine’s arrival to the United States.

  The Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of America (WSWA) have stated that they oppose the tariffs. They cite concerns over rising prices for consumers. Losses in sales could also potentially affect employment in the wine business. There is some hope that the tariffs will increase sales for domestic wine but there are also concerns that it will move consumers towards spirits and beer instead.

  As of this printing, the new wine tariffs will only affect the four nations listed above that were subsidizing Airbus, they will not affect wines from Italy or Portugal, so consumers can still find good value wines from both countries for now. However, the administration has proposed more and harsher changes.

  Additional French products including sparkling wine and Champagne are being considered for new tariffs to retaliate for French taxes on online services through American tech companies like Amazon and Google. These additional tariffs could start this month so lovers of French bubbles may want to stockpile for Valentine’s Day and other upcoming special celebrations in early January.

  In addition to adding sparkling wine to the new tariff list, they are also considering adding all wines, regardless of alcohol content from all European nations, no country’s products would be exempt. Discussion of imposing a much higher tariff, even up to 100%, has been reported from the Office of U.S. Trade Representative (USTR).

  The USTR is taking public comments on these proposals until January 13 at