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So why is the 2012 Ladera Cabernet—made from almost entirely from Howell Mountain fruit, from an incredible vintage—sitting pretty at $34.99? I honestly can't tell you. Maybe it's because no one knows how good the Ladera holdings in Howell Mountain are. Or maybe it's the pride that winemaker Jade Barrett takes in making a serious wine for a reasonable price. Or maybe it's because Ladera is an overlooked gem in a sea of Napa alternatives. For whatever the reason, I'm not going to complain. We tasted the 2012 vintage at our staff training yesterday and I was just floored by the quality of this wine. Dark, fleshy fruit cloaked in fine tannins, bits of earth, and in total balance, with enough gusto to go the long haul in your cellar. It's a whole lotta wine for $34.99, and it's made primarily from Howell Mountain grapes, harvested during a great vintage. 

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Entries in Torrontes (1)

Friday
Jan212011

Food-Pairing Friday: Buffalo Wings

Honey-Sriracha Glazed Buffalo Wings by White on Rice Couple.With my husband on "Mancation" last weekend, I planned on doing girlie things: watching romantic comedies, getting a pedicure, taking baths. But when I remembered that the New England Patriots were playing in the AFC playoff game, all that went by the wayside, and instead I found myself glued to the TV on Sunday watching one very depressing football game. The loss was brutal, but it was made even worse by my game-day snacks, which were limited to leftovers of last week's healthy Catalan Chickpea Stew. Delicious to be sure, but not exactly what I crave when I'm watching football.

This weekend I'm ready. Armed with a recipe for Honey-Sriracha Glazed Buffalo Wings, posted by our friends Todd and Diane at White on Rice Couple. These homemade wings are mouth-on-fire spicy, slightly sweet, just a little bit tangy and satisfyingly crunchy. Of course, buffalo wings call for beer--something light and refreshing, but still well-made--so I'll be sure to have on hand a six-pack of Oskar Blues "Mama's Lil' Yella' Pils" Pilsner, which tastes like a proper German Pilsner and is proof that good beer can come in cans. 

If you decide to whip up a batch of these buffalo wings, and you or your crowd prefers wine, keep it simple with a liter-box of the 2009 Yellow + Blue Torrontes made by former Kermit Lynch staffer Matt Cain. This Argentine boxed wine is priced to party at just $9.99, and is wonderfully dry, with spicy Mirabelle plum, apricot and white flower notes complemented by a zippy, clean palate. Perfect for something spicy and proof once again that it's what's inside the packaging that counts.

Leah Greenstein