DRINK – Soulful wines

There are 100 point wines, wines that age beautifully and cult cabernets.  But I’d rather drink a wine with soul — one that stirs my soul, one that is expressive and a delight to drink. Nothing’s better than discovering a new soulful wine.

In this case, I found two! over dinner with friends at Wood Tavern in Oakland.  The restaurant is a great place — always packed but it still feels so comfortable.  And the food as it turns out is soulful too.

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On to the wines.  The first, a Priorat, 2004 Joan Gine´ from Spainish producer Buil Gine’.  I love Priorats, they are fragrant, fruity (think lush red cherry) with minerality and well-balanced and just delicious.  You don’t see many Priorats on wine lists, but I always order it when I see it.  The Joan Gine’ does not disappoint!  It’s made from Grenache (Garnacha), Carignan and Cabernet Sauvignon. [retail $32]

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Wood Tavern's pork belly

Wood Tavern's pork belly

The second wine is an ’07 Lewis Syrah.  Rhone varietals are my favorites, and Lewis has an outstanding bottling here.   The nose just bursts out of the glass.  This is a rich, voluptous wine.  You’ll definitley notice the deep, inky color.  You may think it’s too big and powerful, but paired with a dish like pork belly, you really can’t go wrong.  It’s smokey and chewy and intensely soulful. [retail $70]

What are your soulful wines?

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