A serious wine with a funny name
By Dave BuchananWith the advent of fall, my search for good eats has turned to comfort foods, hearty meals suited to these ever-shorter days when it feels like winter indeed is on its way. Instead of the lighter, salad-based meals of a month ago, I’ve been sleuthing through cookbooks (my current favorite is Mark Bittman’s “How to Cook Everything”) looking for soups, stews and other warming dishes that help us through this time of dropping leaves and temperatures. Since the meals are more substantial, so are the wines and while rummaging in the cellar for something to stand up to an elk roast I found a 2005 California Red from Joe Blow Wine Co. of Manteca, Cal. I usually avoid wines with too-cute names or those named after furry critters, but Joe Blow Red ($10), a blend of syrah, merlot, petite sirah, zinfandel and cabernet sauvignon, surprised me. “The wine is serious,” it says on the bottle. “The label is not.” It’s certainly serious enough to offer lots of red fruit and berry flavors with sufficient body to stand up to some serious eats. And just to show this isn't a one-pony circus, there’s also Joe Blow White ($11), a blend of chardonnay, viognier and and chenin blanc, with lots of ripe fruit and floral notes and flavors of white peaches and citrus. Both are great deals and perfect for these days when the weather is tilting toward winter.