Another great wine to bring to that Halloween party is this Sonoma red blend from Ghost Pines. Legend has it, iconic winemaker Louis Martini named a vineyard after the native grey pines around it, which appear to hover, ghostlike, at dusk.
This wine was a relief to taste – because in preparing for this Hallo-Wine series, I tried a bunch of wines with spooky labels that didn’t taste anywhere good enough to recommend. I made the mistake of setting up one rather complex photo with a wine that I assumed (oh so wrongly) was going to be tasty. The picture looked really cool, the lighting was perfect, with green candlelight casting an eerie light on the skeleton on the label. Sadly, I couldn’t even finish the wine, which shall remain nameless.
I was down to my last “spooky” wine, and – thank goodness – what a revelation it was!
This is a really interesting mix of grapes: Zinfandel, with Tannat (a grape well known in Uraguay), Syrah and Sangiovese (the patron grape of Italy). I don’t think I have ever had a blend of these grapes before! It was fruity, spicy, with great structure and balance. The 2016 Ghost Pines Red Blend is sourced with grapes from all over California’s north coast: Sonoma, Lake County, and Santa Barbara, and the result is a unique red wine with raspberry, blueberry and tart cherry flavors, some toasty oak, dark chocolate and espresso, with a spicy cinnamon finish. And with a cool, spooky label to boot!
On my five-cork scale based on taste and value, the 2016 Ghost Pines Red Blend gets 4.25 corks. I found it on sale for $15! A tremendous bargain, but even at $20 I’d pick up a bottle. Maybe two.
If you’d like to try interesting wines like this, please join me at our next private wine party at Eighteen the Radisson Cincinnati Riverfront Hotel’s rotating steakhouse in the sky! I host a wine dinner there every month, and we feature several interesting wines, each paired with a delicious course. There are always cool prizes to win, too, so listen Wednesday at 4:15 to win your spot on the guest list, or click here for a chance to win!