When you're heading to the store for a $20 Cabernet or Merlot this week, stop and consider what you'll get if you instead head over to the small Portuguese wine section. The Douro region of Portugal has been making Port for centuries - these fortified reds used to travel so well in the days when it took weeks (or months) for the wines to reach their clients. Those days are long gone and now, those very same grapes are being used to produce dry red table wines of exceptional personality and interest. Dow, founded in 1798, is among the great Port houses leading the way.
2009 Dow Vale do Bomfim Reserva, Douro DOC $23 srp
Fresh, pungent bouquet of ripe black fruits. A rich, sinus-hugging delight, reminiscent of springtime herbs and flowers with plum, dried cherry and coconut notes. Flavors are brisk and refreshing, with a medium-bodied texture showcasing ripe blackberries and a satisfying "meaty" element. Flavors round out with a couple of hours aeration, and are never heavy-handed nor ponderous. Great for grilled meats, veggie kebabs or any smoked dish. Drink now-2016