By The Glass


Wednesday, October 3, 2001

Fine wine on a frugal budget

FINDING GOOD red wine values can be quite challenging today. Your best bet, I have found, is to look at lesser-known wine-producing areas of the world or sift through wines produced from lesser-known grape varieties.

My first example, a Cabernet Sauvignon grown in Chile named Terra Rosa, is crafted by superstar California Cabernet producer Patrick Campbell of Laurel Glen.

I think this is a sensational value. I just love its elegance and sleekness. It would be hard to find another Cabernet this good, especially at this price.

The 2000 vintage ($13.50) is so UN-California-like. It has much more rustic, earthy, old-world flavors, which are much closer to Bordeaux-like than Californian. The structure and mouthfeel is more like a Bordelais.

Sip it with grilled or roasted meats as well as simpler, "homey" foods, such as pork chops or roasted chicken.

Another great value is produced from the Carmine grape under the Atavistic Thrills label ($16). Carmine is its own grape variety and this rendition features the depth of Cabernet, the rustic nature and spiciness of the Carignane grape and the suppleness of Merlot.

The last of this week's recommendations is a world-class red wine from southwest France called Cahors. My favorite estate is Clos de la Coutale ($18). This hearty, rustic red wine is full of old-world character with ripe, dark fruit and provocative cedar and olive nuances.

This is a wine for red meat such as lamb, venison or wild boar. It is very attuned to dishes generously flavored with truffles or wild mushrooms.

It is also a wine that ages well. In fact, when stored properly, it ages as well as Bordeaux. Discover this fabulous red before the crowd does.

In fact, I recommend you discover each of these wines before the crowd does. Enjoy.

Chuck Furuya is president of Fine Wine Imports and Hawaii's only master sommelier.

This column is a weekly lesson in wine pairing written by a rotating panel of wine professionals.

This column is a weekly lesson in wine
pairing written by a rotating panel of wine professionals.
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