Faustino VII Cosecha 1998 Rioja ($9.99)
Faustino VIIDark ruby, with bright, fresh cherries and delicate spice aromas. Fresh and crisp, relatively light in body but not in fruit; sweet oak is present but not objectionable. A quaffable Rioja, made for drinking soon. U.S. importer: Palm Bay Imports, Boca Raton, Fla. (Oct. 17, 2000)

FOOD MATCH: Fine with pan-grilled bacon-wrapped filet mignons with a side of pasta tossed with butter and sage.

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Domaine la Montagnette 1998 Cotes du Rhone Villages ($8.99)
MontagnetteDark garnet, with appealing scents of blueberries and spice. Light and fresh, crisp and juicy blueberry fruit structured by tart acidity. Not a hearty style Rhone, but easy to sip and fine with food. U.S. importer: Hand Picked Selections, Warrenton, Va. (Oct. 19, 2000)

FOOD MATCH: Plenty of fruit to stand up to the hearty flavors of a smoked duck-sausage and fennel risotto.

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Manousakis 1998 Nostos (Crete) Red Table Wine ($9.99)
NostosDark reddish-purple, with black fruit and herbal aromas and a muted but perceptible whiff of dill. Pleasant table wine, balanced and fresh, with more complexity than you'd expect for the price. This was a retaste of a wine last reported on June 12, and I found it more appealing this time. U.S. importer: Hand Picked Selections, Warrenton, Va. (Oct. 11, 2000)

FOOD MATCH: A stunning match with a "meaty" but vegetarian dish of pappardelle pasta with portabello and porcini mushrooms.

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