Drink: wine: Worth reaching for

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From the July 24, 2014 edition

Do you think summer grilling wines mean bold, heavy reds? Lighten up a little!

Pinot noir's light to medium-bodied flavor profile makes it a go-to for red wine drinkers who don't want to be bowled over by a heavier, fuller-bodied wine, and the 2012 Liberty School pinot noir ($20 at Anderson's) falls perfectly in line with that thinking.

It's easy-drinking, with a silky mouthfeel and forward tannins that aren’t overwhelming. A slight strawberry flavor sticks around after each sip. The smoothness and slightly fruity flavor profile make this a perfect match for something creamy or light and grilled, like chicken or fish.

Info about the vintage from the winery mentions the wine's "length.” In this case, it's attributed to the region where the wine is grown (in Monterey, California), and my first guess was that "length" implied the wine wasn't very full-bodied— instead, it was thinner and more medium-bodied, with a flavor that lingered.

Length actually refers to how long the flavor sticks around after a sip— with 30 seconds or more a good showing. Sounds like something you'll hear a lot more about in this column now that I'm familiar with it. Today's lesson: "Lighten," "lengthen."