Winter wines

With the chilly, rainy nights we’ve had, a nice red seems like the way to go. I asked Steve Graham, wine steward of the Nugget Market on Florin Road, for three recommendations for bold reds that won’t break the bank:

1. “The Twisted Rivers Petite Sirah, 2005, from Clarksburg, California—they seem to be doing nice stuff with Petite Sirah. It’s not just another high-alcohol Petite Sirah; it’s got really great fruit and nice complexity to it. That’s $21.99, so it’s a little higher.”

2. “A killer one from Chile that’s only $12.99 is Maquis Lien, 2004, a Syrah-Carmenere-Cab Franc blend. It’s absolutely fantastic, one of the best bottles of $12.99 wine I’ve ever had. It’s drinking great now and goes well with food or on its own.”

3. “We’ll go local again for the last one. The Bogle Phantom, 2004, a blend of zin, Petite Sirah and Mourvèdre, is always a hit. That’s $16.99, and we bought a lot of it—it usually runs out pretty quick. It’s a big, bold, California-style wine, and [it can] handle any of the bigger meat dishes you’re going to have, or on its own after dinner to stay warm through the evening.”