This $15 spicy red wine from Portugal pairs well with meat – Lifotravel



Three outstanding reds fill out our wine recommendations this week, including another bargain from Portugal, a delicious Lodi zinfandel from a Black-owned label and an exhilarating Beaujolais cru from France.

Vinha da Coutada Velha Red Blend 2020

(3 stars)

Every time I sing Portugal’s praises for producing great quality and affordable wine, another example drives the point home. This is a blend of aragonez (a Portuguese name for tempranillo), trincadeira, syrah and cabernet sauvignon, so it combines native grapes with international standards. The result is a spicy mix of red and dark fruit flavors, anchored by an appealing earthiness. This wine is delicious by itself but really calls for hearty meats and sausages. Alcohol by volume: 13 percent. Bottle weight: 655 grams (Average).

Imported by Tri-Vin Imports. Distributed locally by DMV Distributing.

Michael Lavelle Zinfandel 2018

(3 stars)

Michael Lavelle is not a winemaker, but a brand created in 2020 by four partners: Aaron “Michael” Coad, Terrance “Lavelle” Low, Brandon Crump (all Howard University graduates) and Devin Kennedy (a D.C. native and Woodrow Wilson High School graduate). On their website, they claim to be the “youngest Black-owned wine company owners,” looking to fill “a glaring void in fresh, culturally relevant wine craftsmanship offered and marketed towards millennials and minority audiences.” They support the Roots Fund, which promotes opportunities in wine for minorities. They also produce this gorgeous zinfandel, an example of why Lodi has emerged as one of California’s most exciting wine regions. This brings a smile from the first sip, with flavors of Bing cherries, dried cranberries and aromas of loamy earth. Fans of old-style zinfandel should take note and stock up. ABV: 14.2 percent. BW: 705 grams (Heavy).

Distributed locally by Breakthru Beverage Group. Store and restaurant availability info available on the winery website.

Domaine de la Bonne Tonne, Grands Cras Morgon 2020

(3 stars)

This lively red from the Beaujolais cru appellation of Morgon is rich with cherry and bramble flavors. It exudes a sense that I can only describe as grounded — as if it were connecting us directly to the granitic soils of Beaujolais. The Grands Cras is aged primarily in concrete, with about 10 percent in large barrels, so we are getting the natural expression of the gamay grapes from this terroir, unencumbered by oak. Certified organic. ABV: 14 percent. BW: 540 grams (Average).

Imported by Stork Wine and Banville Wine Merchants, distributed locally by Banville and Artisans & Vines.

Prices are approximate. For availability, check, and the websites and social media feeds of the wineries, importers or distributors. You can also ask your local retailer to order wines from the distributors listed.

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