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Stand Out Wines

No boring, difficult to decipher labels, and definitely no cork taint, are found among these stand out wines. The whimsical labels both educate and entertain, and the wines are sealed with either an aluminum screw cap or a Zork, which can be used to reseal the bottle. Just peel it, pop it (makes the same celebratory pop as a cork), and re-stop it. Then recycle the Zork by saving it for other half full bottles.

La bon vin de la (LBV) Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2003 ($16) is brick in color with aromas of leather and black cherry, and flavors of blackberry, plum and cassis (blackcurrant)—supported by firm tannins. The wine is a blend of 88 percent Cabernet Sauvignon, 10 percent Malbec, two percent Petit Verdot—and 100 percent Napa Valley. Pair with a hearty dinner of braised short ribs or a thick cut of prime rib.

Plungerhead Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel 2004 ($16) is ink in color with sweet black cherry, boysenberry, and caramel aromas. Blueberry, cassis, raspberry, and spice are among the concentrate flavors found in this old-vine Zinfandel. The addition of 15 percent Petite Sirah to the Dry Creek Zin both softens and creates its color. This wine is a match for an afternoon of football and barbeque. Or arrive at that costume party dressed as Plungerhead and offer a bottle to your Halloween host.

Hey Mambo ($14) is a luxurious Italian style wine. This Rutherford blend of 99 percent Malbec and one percent Merlot is dark violet in color with fragrances of blueberries, blackberries and a hint of mint. Initial flavors blueberries, dark cherries, and cranberry lead to velvety notes of vanilla, caramel, and cedar. Order a pizza, or make your own flatbread match for this vino.

Gino Da Pinot 2005 is a Monterey Pinot Noir ($16) that is garnet in color with fragrances of violets and strawberries, and fruit forward flavors of blueberries, pomegranate, and hints of red pepper. This food friendly Pinot pairs well with everything from seafood to roasted meats. The Pinot also makes a great brunch alternative to sparkling wines—with Sabastiani's suggested pairing of Jack Cheese grits!

And The White Knight Clarksburg Vionger 2005 ($14) goes to battle against Chardonnay's dominance over the white wine damsels. Fresh and lively aromas of orange blossoms, orchids, and flavors of jasmine and notes of apricot, peaches and apples lead to caramel, vanilla, and lemon on the finish. Get rescued from your Chardonnay rut by The White Knight. Or pack it in your picnic basket, and pair it with a romantic setting and your real life knight.

In addition to these five wines, The Other Guys also offer LBV Merlot 2004 ($16) and LBV Chardonnay 2004 ($16). And as this issue went to press, The Other Guys wines were available at Contri Brothers, Indigo Joe's, Overton & Vine, V. Richard's, Ted's Garage, Vintage Wine Shoppe, Western Highlands, and Western Rocky Ridge, with more retailers being added daily.

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