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2010 Les Peyrieres Rasteau 

Rhone Valley, France

$13 RETAIL

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This red southern Rhone blend of 70 percent Grenache, 20 percent Syrah and 10 percent Mourvedre makes an equally good partner with casual food on a Mardi Gras party buffet as it does with more refined cuisine. The full-bodied wine offers earthy aromas and flavors and an appealing rustic character. On the palate, taste ripe red and blackberries, plum, spice, black pepper, firm tannins and a touch of alcohol on the finish that will blow off the longer the wine has to breathe. Decant several hours in advance for best flavor. Drink it with fried chicken, chili dogs, pizza, grilled sausage, red beans, rabbit, venison and other game, lamb kebabs, cassoulet, duck confit, osso buco and hearty cheeses. Buy it at: Whole Foods Markets. — BRENDA MAITLAND

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