Toast red with your roast
This is the season of full-flavored red wines, the time when a little glass of pinot grigio just won't do. The main course is changing, too, with braising and roasting instead of the quickly cooked or the uncooked.
To go with the Thanksgiving turkey: two all-American zinfandels, the dark-fruit driven, aromatic 2010 Ravenswood Barricia Vineyard Zinfandel; and the ripe, berry-full 2010 Ravenswood Dickerson Vineyard Zinfandel (each $35).
Signorello Estate signs in with meaty 2010 Fuse Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon ($28), a stylish, medium-bodied red that includes some syrah and merlot, delivering notes of cherry and vanilla. Accessible today, but has years to go.
Intense and powerful, the 2010 Michael David Earthquake ($26), cabernet sauvignon with a splash of petite sirah, moves the plates with an undercurrent of vanilla and black cherry. It booms in at 15 percent alcohol and will stand up to a long-simmering beef stew.
The 2009 Eleanor Red Wine ($50) is the first vintage of a rich, complex blend that Francis Ford Coppola named for his wife. She memorably chronicled the making of "Apocalypse Now" in a documentary, "Hearts of Darkness: A Filmmaker's Apocalypse." The concentrated syrah-and-cabernet sauvignon blend is loaded with cassis and berry. Expect the meticulous wine to age as well as the movie.
From the Alexander Valley of Sonoma, comes the 2009 Rodney Strong Symmetry ($55), a lush, harmonious red blend with power and finesse. It's primarily cabernet sauvignon. Roast beef, steaks, rack of lamb, cheeses -- all welcome.