A bit of spice with a great first taste

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BY PETER DILLS: In 1917, the first Los Angeles winery was established, and it is still open today.

But, years before the San Antonio Winery opened its doors, Pasadena, Eagle Rock and Sierra Madre were all gaining a reputation for growing quality grapes.  Fast-forward to today, the San Antonio Winery is the largest and oldest winery in Southern California. The grapes/juice are now brought in from Monterey and the wine regions of Paso Robles. That is where our wine comes from for today’s review.

BY PETER DILLS: In 1917, the first Los Angeles winery was established, and it is still open today.

But, years before the San Antonio Winery opened its doors, Pasadena, Eagle Rock and Sierra Madre were all gaining a reputation for growing quality grapes.  Fast-forward to today, the San Antonio Winery is the largest and oldest winery in Southern California. The grapes/juice are now brought in from Monterey and the wine regions of Paso Robles. That is where our wine comes from for today’s review.

The 2013 Opaque Darkness from the San Antonio Winery is a blend of zinfandel, syrah, cabernet, grenache, petite sirah and petit verdot.  I have been a fan of blends for years, and this Opaque is in a class by itself. The mix of grapes stands out to me; other reds use more cabernet in their mix.

You’ll appreciate the texture and smooth tannins that the syrah grape brings to this dark red blend. Zinfandels have always been a great companion to barbecues, and with this 50 percent grape I can highly recommend it to any back yard cooking event. 

The price is a bit higher than my previous blend recommendations, but with the popularity and customer acceptance this one is well worth it. Opaque Darkness is a dark, inky red wine, exhibiting ripe berry notes.  The taste is exceptional.  If you are looking for a bit of spice with a great first taste, then this blend is for you.

Many reviewers will call wines like this “jammy” (I’ll say “blueberry pie”).  You’ll find it at Vons and at the winery in Downtown Los Angeles. They also have a petit verdot under the Opaque label same price range and it is easier to find.

Email Peter at thechefknows@yahoo.com and follow me on Twitter@KINGOFCUISINE. Check out my radio show on AM 830 KLAA at 5:00 PM on Saturdays.