Portland Food & Drink Blog Review


What Do We Want Out of Wine?

May 5, 2011 by Bruce Bauer 3 Comments

So what is it we want out of wine? That it tastes good, right? Oh, and if it doesn’t empty our wallets that is certainly a nice bonus. This is especially true for yours truly, since the “stock option” plan for VINO employees consists of drinking leftover wine from weekend tastings. Luckily, there has never been a better time to drink well on the cheap. Two good things have come from the global economic crisis: wine producers are very reluctant to raise prices, and there are oceans of unsold wine out there. Add to that, the ever-growing skill set of the world’s wine producers, and honestly, in twenty years of enabling wine consumption, I have never seen it better for the consumer. With the warm weather drinking season fast upon us, where the focus is on popping corks and keeping the crowd’s glasses full, price is of paramount importance. The following three reds will fulfill the needs of the most particular wine drinker, all at attractive prices so you can swill at will!

2008 Behemoth Wine “Columbia Valley” Red: depending on your personal preferences, Behemoth is either

a)- A demon created on the third day who lived east of Eden and ate the forest and mountain creatures to sate his voracious appetite, b)- A Polish black metal band, or c)- A ridiculously good NW red wine blend. Assuming you’re reading this because of reason “c” – that’s what we’ll focus on. Winemaker Matt Berson, whose “Love and Squalor” wine label may be one of the best label designs (and the wine contained within is pretty damn tasty, too) has sourced some beautifully ripe fruit from eastern Washington’s soon to be official Ancient Lakes AVA. Despite the ferocity of the animal pictured on the label, this Behemoth is actually a user-friendly blend of 53% Merlot, 20% Cab Franc, 15% Cab Sauv, and 12% Syrah.

This wine has amazing body and texture. Combine that with its intense dark berry, cocoa and cherry tinged flavors, and its smooth, voluptuous finish, and you have a wine that is begging to be served with something off the grill.

Right now I’m thinking about grilled leg of lamb that has been generously rubbed with garlic, rosemary, and olive oil. But it’s only 10am, and that could all change by noon. The bottom line is, it defines “crowd pleasing” and absolutely will not disappoint. This Behemoth can be captured around town for about $13.95 a bottle.