Pepperwood Grove 2003 California Pinot Noir ($6.79)
This is a clear, garnet-color wine, dark but not opaque. Good perfumed red-fruit aromas are accented with a dash of oaky spice and a whiff of smoke. Juicy, fresh red-berry fruit flavors are appealing if not overly complex; slightly sweet on the first impression, with good acidity shaping a dry, cherries-and-spice finish. A simple quaff, easy and crowd-pleasing, but yes, it's Pinot, and at this price one heck of a bargain. US Importer: (Apr 12, 2005)

FOOD MATCH: It should make an amiable companion with a wide range of meat, poultry or cheese dishes from roast beef to fried chicken. It was fine with a simple dinner of prosciutto-wrapped chicken breasts with Gruyere and a touch of Dijon.

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