If red wine is a spectrum, you've got lean reds at one end, monster reds at the other, and big reds somewhere in the middle. A lean red doesn't just have a thinner body; it has a certain delicacy. It tends to be a wine of finesse and, if you're one to talk enological descriptions, one with lower alcohol and lighter tannins. A lean wine makes me think of a ballerina--a lithe, graceful body that holds deceptive strength. A monster red, on the other hand, has the high-alcohol, fruit-in-your-face density of modern, international wines. These wines tend to the exaggerated profile; they make me think of bodybuilders, something over-the-top and too brawny to be entirely, and believably, natural.
We carry many lean reds, but very few monster reds. What really captures our new clients from head to soul, however, are the big reds. A big red isn't subtle. It's a wine that quickly warms your heart and suffuses your belly. Big reds tend to the middle in terms of alcohol, though they range in tannins from relatively low (like Dolcetto) to those that are quite high (like Barolo or Taurasi). They all, however, have a nice, hefty body. The opulence and power of a big red can be attributed to its vintage, or its producer; big reds can come from a late harvest of the grapes or from the varietal; they can be the product of any number of variables.
Today, I'm proud to debut two Amarone from Lorenzo Begali, the estate's 2009 normale bottling and its cru 2008 Monte Ca' Bianca. These two wines are unabashed big reds, bold, complex, in-your-face luxuries that wrap your senses in their velvety grips. Even better, they're white tigers in the Amarone world; they're affordable luxuries that belong on your winter dining table. Along with these wines, I'm delighted to offer two big red Barolos from Seghesio. The limited production Seghesio makes amazingly approachable Barolos that are great "bridge wines," bottlings that both reward the Italian wine lover and seduce the Italian wine newbie, and the two vintage Barolo Pajana we offer today are drinking like velvet.
Finally, I've worked with the portfolio managers to select a perfect case for your Thanksgiving Day meal. Some of these wines are big reds; some are lean reds; and the rest are great whites and sparklers. Whether you choose all twelve, or handpick a few bottles, these wines are definitely something to be thankful for.