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

Descendientes de J. Palacios Petalos 2011 | photo via wine-searcher.com

Brandon Marsh's love affair with wine was sort of a coming-of-age experience: While studying abroad in Melbourne, exploring new foods turned into exploring new wines—how could so many flavors come from just grapes and wood?

Although he moved around a lot as a kid, Marsh calls Seattle home (he finished high school here) and loves the climate, music scene, local wineries, and the cruelest of mistrisses: Seattle sports. Currently he's the wine and beverage manager at Triumph Bar in Lower Queen Anne and previously worked as the wine buyer and floor manager at Olivar on Capitol Hill. 

So Brandon, what should I drink tonight?

What I am drinking now is the Petalos bottling from Descendientes de J. Palacios 2011. An awesome value from the Bierzo region of northwest Spain, it is vinified from the Mencia grape and delivers a lot of character for the money. Mencia can cover a range of styles from light and fruity (nice with a slight chill) to more extracted and structured. This bottling falls somewhere in between, leaning a bit towards the latter style, which works well as we look towards spring but the weather remains cool. With rich berry fruit and an intriguing aroma of violets, the texture really sets this wine apart. Mouthfilling and seamless, the tannins present provide structure yet have been ripened and buffed to the point of gulpability. But fear not, the finish of this wine brings with it balancing acidity as well as a mineral freshness that allows it to pair well with stuffed peppers and pork of any kind. This one has been known to win over fans of both pinot noir and syrah.

Find It: Wine World and Spirits, available to order from Pete's Wine Shop

Price: Around $20


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