Dear Mr. Soprano,
Personally, I’d suggest whites for those batter-dipped, deep-fried circles, especially if the onion underneath is a sweet Vidalia or one of those deliciously crisp, rich, sorta sweet varieties from Hawaii. But you, sir, are the boss and if you want some reds to pair with that crunchy, greasy, salty, sweet, finger lickin’ pre-meal treat that you and your family seem to enjoy so much that the flavor just kind of blacks out everything else … then I’m happy to oblige.
Lulu B Pinot Noir, France
These grapes are from the southern part of France, so this wine is NOT a Burgundian, but it is a great value, offering good fruit with enjoyable juicy flavors of raspberry, wild strawberry, soft white pepper and nutmeg. Rich, smooth, medium-bodied. Won’t overpower the pungency of the onion ring — but would be a delightful drink with some grilled salmon, roast turkey or brats on the grill.
Root 1 Cabernet Sauvignon, Chile
Here’s a mouthful for those that like bold, juicy aromas and flavors of tobacco, black cherry, vanilla, black pepper. Tightly wound but plenty of potential, so open and pour before you partake. And when you do, enjoy with your favorite cut of grilled beef. Or a slow-roasted beef tenderloin. Not sure about the onion rings. Would be good if you swapped in some hot horseradish/cocktail sauce to dip them in, then refresh and reward your palate with this dry but flavorful red.
The Big Red Monster, California
The label is reason enough to buy this wine, and what it promotes on the outside is what you get on the inside. A wild blend of wild red grapes produces a rich, bold offering with aromas of cedar, cocoa and vanilla then bold, rich, supple flavors of wild mulberry, blueberry, vanilla, black pepper, grilled green peppers and wild black raspberries. HUGE — could be your signature wine, Mr. Soprano. But I mean that in a GOOD way — lots of flavor, body and presentation. At an affordable price. And if you don’t like any of my suggestions, then I have some Sticky Buns that will make your morning one to wake up for …
Find these and other great reds at The Wall of Wine: 50 under $15, Mass. Ave. Wine Shoppe, 878 Massachusetts Avenue in downtown Indy, www.massavewine.com.