Made by a French, family-owned winery in the Rhône region, this is a deliciously affordable blend of sustainably-farmed grenache and syrah grapes. The wine takes its name from the 45th North parallel, which falls about two kilometers from the winery. Fruity with black cherry and tart cranberry, the wine’s got some earthy funk, like wallowing in dirt. But don’t judge it by the piggy-ness… the fruit wins. Leathery tannins, strong brewed tea and plenty of acidity come together to form an austere, food-friendly grog. Sw=1. $13. 4 stars.
Taylor is a self-proclaimed Southern foodie, turned Californian food, wine, and gardening hipster.