Three Great Wines to Try in 2021

Sonoma-Cutrer Rose 2020

Along with very good local restaurants launching, I’m happy to report there are also terrific new wines being brought regularly to the market. We’ll take all the good news we can get in 2021!

Here are three wines you should put on your radar:

Actress/author Cameron Diaz launched her Avaline wine line last year. I wrote about the rose and white wines, part of her “clean wine brand,” meaning they are vegan-friendly, made with organic grapes and with as few extras as possible. Her co-founder is Katherine Power, author and founder of the Who, What, Wear fashion brand and the California-based Clique Brands.

Since then, their red and sparkling Avaline wines were released. The Avaline wines are made from wineries in France and Spain. The red ($24) is from France’s Southern Rhone Valley, where the producer, is a notable winemaking family that respectfully requested their identity be kept confidential. It’s an easy-drinking wine, with a medium body and a little spice in the cherry palate. It comes alive with food, where it’s perfect for a burger or pizza or seafood. 

The sparkling Avaline ($26) was released in December, and is a blend of three varietals: Xarel-lo, Macabeo and Parellada from Penedès, Spain, made by producer Raventos i Blanc. This is my favorite of the line, a wonderful Spanish wine that is clean-tasting, dry and terrific by itself. It also pairs well with foods from cheeses to chocolate, so you may want two bottles for dinner; the affordable price helps with that. All are available online at https://drinkavaline.com/ or in local stores.

The newest of the bunch is a 2020 wine, Sonoma-Cutrer’s Rosé of Pinot Noir ($25, pictured at top), a beautiful blush-pink dry drink that is crisp and delicate. This one will be very popular, and is 100 percent pinot noir grapes (the pink color is from contact with the grape skins). On the palate, you’ll taste grapefruit, citrus and strawberries. Wholly likable, this one will convince those no-rosé-for-me folks that real wine drinkers drink rosé. In fact, this is a perfect Valentine’s Day drink!

Sonoma-Cutrer is hosting a virtual public wine tasting for this rosé at 8 p.m. on Feb. 11. Watch on YouTube here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GOANnatjuTU&feature=youtu.be

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