The holidays mean family time, and family time means food. Food means wine, so you’d better get your bottles lined up and ready for the front lines. I recently pulled a 2012 Robert Hall Zinfandel out of my closet (can I call it my “wine closet” to sound fancier?) to pour for my mother, who paid me a joyful visit. As we sipped on this peppery, raspberry-tinged beauty and caught up on the family news, I couldn’t help but imagine its potential for Thanksgiving. I recommend this medium-bodied red—aged for 14 months in underground caverns—with dark meat turkey and gravy, tart cranberry sauce, and bacon-studded sweet potatoes. Add in a bit of family banter for a meal that should very well warm you to your core.
• Robert Hall's 2012 Zinfandel — $18 per bottle; buy online at roberthallwinery.com or visit the tasting room at 3443 Mill Road in Paso Robles.
I am usually on the side of the general population when it comes to the topic of flavored waters. A scam? Certainly. A way to unknowingly drink up more calories/sugar than you bargained for? Definitely. You really can’t beat good old fashioned water—even from the tap, which is how I drink it at home. Then, I tried Evo. The San Luis Obispo-borne brand promises “soda satisfaction without the sweetness or aftertaste of soft drinks,” and it does deliver on that statement. How? Two local wine industry pros came together to create the water equivalent to a palate cleanser (think after-dinner sorbet or piece of ginger with your sushi roll). Their research resulted in a stable of balanced, carbonated flavors that both cleanse and refresh your tastebuds. I love their grapefruit flavor for very simple reasons: It’s flavored with real, organic grapefruit and real, organic cane sugar for a fizzy, 10-calorie beverage that won’t wreak havoc on my body. I don’t know about you, but I’d much rather consume 10 tiny calories and enjoy a real-fruit flavor taste over a zero-calorie beverage spiked with chemical sweeteners that I can’t even pronounce. Pack a few chilled bottles of this stuff on your next wine or beer tasting adventure, and see just how effectively this extraordinary H20 can bring your mouth back to center.
• Evo Water Evolved — $24 per 12-pack; order grapefruit, yuzu lemon, and pomelo Evo online for delivery straight to your door at h2evo.com/shop.
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