Top our pizza with pepperoni, mushrooms and eggplant, please, while we twist the screw cap on a bottle of 2011 Montes Twins Red Wine (about $15 at supermarkets and wine shops), a casual, robust 50/50 blend of malbec and cabernet sauvignon from Chilean winemaker Aurelio Montes.
It's great that the label sports artwork by Ralph Steadman, fearless illustrator of Hunter S. Thompson's manic adventures in gonzo journalism, but that wouldn't mean much if the wine inside were swill. No worries on that score.
Dark fruit and warm spice dominate this easy drinking wine's bouquet, a promise made good on the tongue by loads of big smooth blackberry, a bit of fig, a hint of spice and a black cherry kicker through mid palate. Spice and black cherry carry the medium-long finish.
Montes' marriage of malbec, a feisty, edgy red, and cabernet sauvignon, a hefty red with a pronounced bass note, is a happy one. It will pair well with a wide variety of foods in addition to pizza, from veggie burgers with tomato and red onion and a side of sweet potato fries to a sandwich of country pate and grainy mustard on a crusty baguette.
By Colette and John Bancroft. She is the Times' book editor, and he is a freelance writer specializing in food, wine and travel. For an index and archive of reviews, go to pictograph.com.