Twisted Merlot 2007 ($8)
I expected very little from a bottle this inexpensive. And I'm no Merlot fan. But this one's light-bodied and doesn't hit you over the head with jamminess Yes, there's blueberry but also enough acidity to give it balance.
Ravenswood Lodi Old Vine Zinfandel 2006 ($12)
It's hard for me to keep track of all the Zins the company makes. (I can't be the only one.) So I tried several of them in a blind taste test with other editors here at Epicurious and, surprise, we liked one of the least expensive ones best. The Lodi wine was soft, round, less spicy and less alcoholic (14.5%ABV) than Ravenswood's Sonoma and Napa Zins. Full of plum and berry.
Laurent Miquel Viognier Verité 2007 ($27)
I often fear that a Viognier will overwhelm my palate (and the food) with its floral nose. This one, from the Languedoc-Roussillon region, is just yummy: There's some petrol aromas,