Let's celebrate every bit of cold weather we can muster this winter. Time to light the fire, roast a big hunk of meat and break out a big red. This one comes from Maremma, near the Tuscan Coast, and it's a Bordeaux-style blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc aged in French oak.
Ilatraia has a wonderful presence, silky and smooth with flavors of currant, wild herbs and spice. The tannins are there, but tamed, and the finish is long and satisfying.
This is a special bottle of wine to bring out for a dinner with wine-loving friends. Pair it with that roast duck or game bird, with braised meats, even porchetta or a roasted pig's head.
Price: $36 to $46
Style: Rich and smooth
What it goes with: Roast birds, braised meats, porchetta or pig's head
Where to find it: Hi-Time Wine Cellars in Costa Mesa, (949) 650-8463, www.hitimewine.net; Mission Wine & Spirits in Pasadena, (626) 794-7026, and Glendale, (818) 242-0683, www.missionwineandspirits.com; Total Wine & More in various locations, www.totalwine.com; Twenty Twenty Wine Merchants in West Los Angeles, (310) 447-2020, www.2020wines.com; Wally's Wine & Spirits in West Los Angeles, (310) 475-0606, www.wallywine.com; and the Wine Country in Signal Hill, (562) 597-8303, www.thewinecountry.com.
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