By Lenn Thompson, Founder and Editor-in-Chief


Too often we get caught up in the idea that every wine has to be mind-blowingly complex, nuanced and age worthy. Sometimes it's good to take a step back and drink a wine that is just plain delicious to drink with your dinner — now, not with any aging the cellar.

Bedell Cellars 2008 First Crush Red ($18) is one such wine.

You won't find too many 2008 reds released already, but this one doesn't see a splinter of oak in its creation, and it's probably at its best right now.

Is this a wine that is going to make you say "Hey, Long Island can make some world-class reds?" No, but this blend of 77% merlot and 23% cabernet franc was absolutely perfect with the grilled, herbs de Provence-crusted pork chops tonight over local sweet corn, zucchini and pickled red onions.

On the nose, it's all red cherries and plums, fruity but not overly so. The palate is medium bodied with more cherries, plums and hints of briar and smoke. There is just a little skin tannin here and good, food-friendly acidity to bring structure.

At $18 (at the winery) it's overpriced, but I've seen the previous vintage (which wasn't as good) for as little as $11 at shops. For that, it's a good value.

Sometimes, it's great to find a wine as satisfying as this one. Somtimes, that's enough. More than enough.

Producer: Bedell Cellars
AVA: North Fork of Long Island
ABV: 12%
Price: $18
Rating: 30
(3 out of 5 | Recommended) 
(Ratings Guide)