One Good Bottle: Pinot Meunier
Domaine Chandon, the French champagne house known for producing sparkling wines in California, has taken pinot meunier, a grape dominant in France’s Champagne region, and exposed it to Napa turf and sun. The result—the 2006 Domaine Chandon Pinot Meunier, Carneros ($35)—is a luscious, harmonious red with a nose of cherries and plums commingling with brown sugar and baking spice. But the real thrill is on the palate. This light ruby wine comes on fruity and warm, like many California reds, before transitioning to an elegant finish with a refreshing acidity. It’s the perfect bottle for meat stew, smoked meats, and other rich autumnal fare.