We haven't visited the wines of Washington's Columbia Valley for a while, so it's high time we mended our ways. This week's wine, the 2009 Thorny Rose Red Blend, is a fine New World variation on the classic Bordeaux blend, with cabernet sauvignon and merlot dominant and abetted by smidges of syrah and malbec. Expect to pay about $10 at big box stores.
This accessible, juicy red is a fiesta of cherries, from its very cherry nose (with fringe notes of other dark fruits), through a burst of dark chocolate cherry (followed by those same dark fruit notes) on the tongue, to a medium-long aromatic finish invoking cherry-inflected mocha. Overall, this red is velvety and earthy, its tannins giving it a very agreeable edge. Despite all the cherry, the wine is not at all sweet and makes a good food companion.
Try it with grilled portobello mushroom burgers, white pizza with fontina and wild mushrooms, or a lasagna with as many compatible mushrooms as your supermarket can muster.
By Colette and John Bancroft. She is the Times' book editor, and he is a freelance writer specializing in food, wine and travel.