By Bruce Cochran
This week we will begin a look at summertime reds. With red wine’s increasing popularity, plus so many grilled dishes that are good with it, let’s start assembling a go-to list of good red wine options for the coming months.
We had several good ones last week at Crush Wine Bar in downtown Little Rock. Over 130 wine lovers showed up to try some of the wines I’ve imported from our trips to Europe and South America. To see a list of them, go to www.brucecochran.com.
We’ll begin this week with a wine that’s been poured at many outdoor barbecue events around the state for at least 20 years—and it’s still going strong.
Every Friday at 11:30 a.m. you can hear my weekly radio program, The Wine Show at KABF FM 88.3 Little Rock streamed live on the internet or download it for later. I’ve heard that some wine stores are already playing it for their customers! There’s a link from my web site or go to www.kabf883.org. In the upper right hand corner you’ll see the words “Listen Now.”
The July eWine Samplings if you’re headed to Little Rock or Conway, will be July 11 in Little Rock and July 12 in Conway. No reservations needed, just drop by any time between 4:30 p.m. and 7:30 and taste through the four eWine recommendations—plus a Welcome Wine—for $10 only per person. Also, every Wednesday is “Wine Wednesday” at Cajun’s in Little Rock, with an extensive list of $3 glass specials each week.
Taste something good this week!
Cotes du Rhone
For a good hearty dry red wine at a good price, it’s hard to beat the Rhone River Valley in southeastern France. This rocky, sun-drenched area near the Mediterranean Sea is the native home to such much-loved grape varieties as syrah and grenache.
Some of the area’s wines are famous and expensive. In the north, the reds (the best names are Hermitage and Cote-Rotie) are mostly syrah, while in the south most wines (especially Chateauneuf du Pape) are blended from as many as a dozen or so different varieties.
Wines labeled simply “Cotes du Rhone” are blends, usually with a good dose of grenache. For their many fans, myself included, they are one of the best wines to sip on while flipping hamburgers on the grill, though they’re equally at home with a nice French cheese and a baguette. Most are priced in the $10 to $15 range, and a good bargain.
The word ‘Cotes’ is simply French for slope, and is often used in wine names.
This week’s recommend wine is the Cotes du Rhone “Parallel 45°.” This wine has a strong following throughout the state and there’s a good chance that you’re already a fan. I’ve poured it at continuing education wine classes for 20 years and nearly four and a half years ago it was the first eWine recommendation. Retail: $10-$15.
For questions, comments, or to subscribe to the electronic version of E Wine of the Week, email Bruce at: firstname.lastname@example.org