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Wine of the week: 2014 Upper Eden Pinot Noir 

Santa Lucia Highlands, California

Retail $14

Viticulturists consider pinot noir to be a fussy grape that yields delicious food-friendly wines. Pinot noir developed its reputation in France's Burgundy region and is grown from New Zealand to Chile to Oregon. California's Santa Lucia Highlands also has a terroir favorable to the varietal. Highlands vineyards are planted on the eastern terraces of the Santa Lucia Mountains, which are influenced by fog from Monterey Bay and cool breezes from the mountains. This wine comes from vineyards up to 1,000 feet above sea level. The vineyards experience moderate daytime temperatures and cool nights, which help grapes ripen slowly. In the glass, the wine offers aromas of dried red berries, a hint of baking spices and earth notes. On the palate, taste red and black cherries, cola, integrated tannins and balanced acidity. Open 15 minutes before serving. Drink it with salmon, tuna, duck, lamb, pork tenderloin and cheese. Buy it at: Trader Joe's.

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