Europa Village 2014 Vendetta, $40
On a couple of occasions in recent years, we’ve zoomed past Temecula Wine Country with no time to stop, so I have to confess this is the first wine I’ve tasted from this southern Californian region. It won’t be the last. Europa Village is one of the more highly regarded producers in Temecula, and judging by this food-friendly red, it’s easy to see why. Made in the style of a Super Tuscan from a blend of 70% Sangiovese, 30% Cabernet Sauvignon, it’s not as big as I expected, being more medium-bodied with smooth tannins and a lovely red berry fruitiness. It has some earthiness too, making it an ideal match for barbecued or smoked foods, or you could pair it with roasts, ribs or as we did, with a good helping of spaghetti. The acidity of the tomato in the spaghetti sauce is toned down by this approachable wine, whose spiced black cherry nose provides a festive season drum roll.
More information: www.europavillage.com