There are plenty of choices from France’s Cotes du Rhone area in your local wine shop. You will find the Grenache- and Syrah-based wines plentiful in any good shop worthy of your business.

There are so many wines to choose from, most quite tasty, it’s hard to remember anything truly outstanding. Or at least outstanding enough to remember the name or write it down. That might be true until you sample the wines of Patrick Lesec.

A 2005 bottle of Lesec’s Cotes Du Rhone Bouquet was nothing short of remarkable for the price point. For $12.99 you’re going to have a great bottle of wine that will hold up to most dinner dishes.

It’s a terrific wine with herbal notes, a big ripe and rich flavor, but still medium bodied and smooth on the finish. And for the real wine geeks, the first taste of this wine screamed “DIRT!” I you want to taste the “terroir” the soil and environment where the wine is made, or better understand the concept, find a bottle of Patrick Lesec’s Bouquet.

Robert Parker, Wine Advocate, gave this juice an 89 rating. I thought it was every bit that good. Most of us are influenced by the price point though more than Parker. If you buy your wine on a budget,try this wine.

It’s a cliche’ but this is far better wine than the price point!

Pairings – Where Wine and Food Meet!

I made my first visit to Pairings in Indianapolis, near Castleton on 82nd, this week. I met proprietor Philip Vandeusen and he walked me through the shop.

I was impressed with the selection of value wine and his cooled storage room of high-end wines. I bought about five bottles including the wine above on his recommendation. In the climate-controlled room I found Lange Freedom Hill Pinot Noir and Domaine Serene Pinot Noir – enough to convince me that this was a serious wine shop.

I’ve included a link here and urge you to stop by. And besides the great wine selection, he has beer and gourmet food products.

He is in a strip mall just down from Keystone at the Crossing.

The 89 Project

So what’s the difference between a wine that scores at the magical level of 90-or-above and a wine rated at 89?

That’s a concept that Indianapolis attorney David Honig explores in an ongoing blog with numerous contributors called The 89 Project.

David asked me to be a contributor a long time ago and I have just recently posted comment on a couple of 89-point wines. Take a look, it’s great reading!

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