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Dornfelder Selbach-Erben 1997 Weisenheimer Vogelsang (Pfalz) Dornfelder Trocken QbA ($7.99)
Red wines make up a distinct minority of wines from Germany, and a dark, rather full-flavored red is a rarer animal still. This one might not form much of a threat to Burgundy or Bordeaux, but it's quaffable and definitely makes the grade as "interesting." Made from the Dornfelder grape, a modern (1956) cross of other, little-known German red wine grapes, this wine is a very dark ruby in color, with light, faintly earthy aromas somewhat evocative of Pinot Noir, and a tart, juicy red-fruit flavor with earthy nuances that mirror the nose. U.S. importer: Wein-Bauer Inc., Franklin Park, Ill. (Jan. 30, 2000)

FOOD MATCH: Surprisingly good with an intense roasted-beet soup.

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All my wine-tasting reports are consumer-oriented. In order to maintain objectivity and avoid conflicts of interest, I purchase all the wines I rate at my own expense in retail stores.

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