Five comforting red wines for troubling times

These reds are the wine equivalent of comfort foods.|

Juggling the variables in our lives has become the new normal, and this past week, Sonoma County experienced the most harrowing of unknowns - with our fate at the whim of an ember and the wind. As we yearn for calm, and reflect with ? family and friends, here’s a range of reds to comfort and soothe.

DeLille Cellars, 2014 Columbia Valley Red Wine, 14.3%, $48. This is a merlot-based blend so its forte is its supple texture. It has aromas and flavors of both black and red fruit that marry well with toast and spice. The blend has nice acidity and its well balanced. Pretty.

Amapola Creek, 2013 Monte Rosso Vineyards, Sonoma Valley Zinfandel, 16%, $48. An earthy, layered zin with a range of flavors. A bit meaty, with notes of black cherry and pepper. Well crafted. Impressive.

Roger Roessler’s Black Pine, 2015 Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir, 14.2% alcohol, $30. This is a gorgeous pinot noir and a rare find at this price point. What sets it apart is its great bones - structure - coupled with its concentrated cherry flavors. Notes of earth and spice are in the mix. Impressive.

Markham, 2014 Napa Valley Merlot, 14.2%, $25. This is a pretty merlot, weighted to red fruit. Bright, lively cherry coupled with a kiss of vanilla and a hint of dark chocolate. Firm tannins. Nice length. Striking.

Alamos, 2015 Seleccion Mendoza, Argentina Malbec 13.5%, $16. Generous fruit with a commingling of bright cherry, blackberry and a hint of cranberry. It has a touch of vanilla and a nice current of black pepper spice running through it. A tasty malbec for the budget-minded.

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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