Five budget reds for your Memorial Day cookout

These under $30 reds are perfect to serve with your favorite grilled items.|

Are carnivores and vegetarians mortal enemies?

Not exactly, but on Memorial Day weekend hosts may find themselves contemplating politically correct grilling.

One ingenious way to keep both camps happy is to meet them in the middle with a portobello. While technically fungi, the thick and juicy portobellos seem downright meaty.

All that’s needed are wines to marry with those delectable mushrooms. Bright, tangy, earthy wines are the best suitors. Here are five peace-keeping budget wines to consider:

Edna Valley Vineyard, 2014 Central Coast Pinot Noir, 14.7 percent alcohol, $17. A bright pinot noir, buoyed with crisp acidity. Concentrated flavors of plum, black cherry and pomegranate. Tangy, with a nice touch of earthiness. Spicy finish.

Christo, NV Lot No. #2 by Marietta Cellars, 15.3 percent, $20. This Rhone blend is boisterous and edgy. It’s full-bodied with concentrated fruit and snappy spice. Rich yet balanced, it’s well-crafted.

Monte Volpe, 2012 Aglianico, Mendocino County, 14.5%, $28. This is a lovely wine with quite a range - cherry, toast, boysenberry and spice. Earthy. Ripe tannins.

Marietta, Lot #2 Arme, 15.1%, $25. A smoky wine with notes of cherry, black currant and licorice. Great structure and a long finish. The wine’s layered flavors give it so much appeal.

Mud House, 2014 Central Otago, New Zealand, 13.5%, $16. A tangy pinot with lovely notes of cherry, herbs and toast. Bright acidity gives it its edge. Lingering finish. Top rate.

Peg Melnik

Wine, The Press Democrat

Northern California is cradled in vines; it’s Wine County at its best in America. My job is to help you make the most of this intriguing, agrarian patch of civilization by inviting you to partake in the wine culture – the events, the bottlings and the fun. This is a space to explore wine, what you care about or don’t know about yet.

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