Grão Vasco 2000 Dão ($5.99)
Clear ruby color; a row of tiny bubbles lines the rim. Volatile and rustic, red fruit aromas with hints of "barnyard" and, within acceptable limits, red-wine vinegar. Light and tart, simple red fruit and lemon-squirt acidity on the palate; a sour-apple tang persists in the finish. On the rough and rustic side, palatable but a bit harsh; better with food than alone. US Importer: Evaton, Inc., Stamford, Ct. (Mar 20, 2003)

FOOD MATCH: On the raw side alone, it needs food to come into balance. Leftover corned beef and thin slices of Parmigiano served it well; an excellent smoked brisket with a light, tangy sauce from my favorite local barbecue joint (Bake's, in southwestern Louisville) went even better.

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