Published On: Thu, Feb 22nd, 2024

Spicy food meets its match with this $15 citrusy white wine

Spicy food meets its match with this  citrusy white wine
Spicy food meets its match with this  citrusy white wine

The Russian River Valley is famous for its pinot noirs, many of which are priced way out of reach of the average drinker. Here’s a fine example of the style at $30, still a splurge but relatively affordable for this region. For more modest investments, we have a citrusy-floral white blend from Portugal and a fun, juicy Valpolicella from northern Italy.

Casa Cadaval Padre Pedro Branco 2021

(2.5 stars)

The red from this woman-owned winery in Portugal’s Alentejo region made my greatest values list of 2023. This white blend features fernao pires, arinto and alvarinho grapes. Flavors of lemon curd, fondant and jasmine finish with a hint of sweetness. Keep this one in mind for spicy foods. Alcohol by volume: 12 percent. Bottle weight: 485 grams (Light).

Buglioni (I’M)Perfetto Valpolicella Classico 2021

(3 stars)

This classical blend from northern Italy is made with organic grapes, a portion of which are dried before pressing. That gives the wine extra depth and a savory raisiny quality below high-toned cherry fruit. Charcuterie, roasts and hearty pasta dishes would be ideal with this beauty. Extra points for the bilingual pun in the name. ABV: 13 percent. BW: 550 grams (Average).

Imported by Kobrand. Distributed locally by RNDC.

Meadowcroft Russian River Valley Pinot Noir 2021

(3.5 stars)

Sonoma County, Calif., $30

Sonoma County’s Russian River Valley is known for a bold, heavy style of pinot noir deeply flavored with dark cherry, plum and baking spice. This example from Meadowcroft, although certainly not cheap, is a relatively affordable example of what the RRV can offer. ABV: 13.9 percent. BW: 485 grams (Light).

Distributed locally by Elite Wines.

Prices are approximate. For availability, check, and the websites and social media feeds of the wineries, importers, distributors, and your favorite local wine store. You can also ask your local retailer to order wines from the distributors listed. Have wine questions for Dave McIntyre? Send them to

★ Good: The wine delivers what it promises at a fair price. If it says chardonnay, it tastes like chardonnay.

★★ Excellent: A wine with character and added interest. May elevate your eyebrows at the first sip.

★★★ Extraordinary: An exciting wine that stands out from others in its class. Fist-pumping, table-thumping good.

★★★★ Sublime: Otherworldly. May have you thinking, “So this is what they were talking about.”

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