Wherein we ask local wine notables to make our weeknight drinking decisions for us.

Seth Sexton grew up on a cattle farm on the Olympia peninsula, and often visited his grandfather in Ronald, Washington, where he made (and still makes) wine in scale-caked cement vats beneath his home. With his grandfather’s stories of gathering and crushing grapes, it’s no wonder he ended up with a career in vino.

Sexton started as a busser at Bizzarro Italian Café, and five years later he was the café’s wine buyer. Since then, he has selected wines at How to Cook a Wolf, Altura, Lark, and other restaurants. He currently works as the manager and wine buyer for Ethan Stowell's mkt.

So Seth, what should I drink tonight?

My palette often leans toward the funky, earthy, stewy, sometimes damp mélange of Italian and French Wines. I live for a big bouquet, chewy mid-palette sensations, and long lingering finish: leather, barnyard, straw, rosehips, mushrooms, leaves and brambles, cedar, pine, and fruits all tangled up on the tongue. 

My recommendation for the coming months is Castello di Verduno’s Basadone 2011.

It means kiss of the woman or, in the native Italian dialects of northern Italy where this stunning wine hails from, it references the local poppy. Basadone is made from the native grape called pelaverga piccolo and boasts a luscious mix of black and white pepper, dark cherries, and a hint of smoke. It’s light ruby in color with a lean and chiseled body. This wine flickers like candlelight.

Find It: Pike and Western Wine, Leschi Market, DeLaurenti (by special order)

The Price: $23–$24