For October, I’ve opted for a nice light- to medium-bodied red blend, a nice departure from the typical California varietals. GD Vajra from Piedmont, Italy makes terrific wines, and while their single varietal ones are great, I think the blend is a good way to get into them. Vajra wines run the gamut from white, rosé and red to top-shelf Barolo for the cellar. Their red blend shows how good Piedmont wines can be, at a daily price point. Vajra Rosso is a field blend, with varietals from the Piedmont region of Northern Italy. It is comprised of nebbiolo, barbera, dolcetto and pinot noir. The makeup can change a bit year to year, but it is a great smooth red that can start off your dinner and carry all the way though. It’s smooth and floral, with just enough tannin from the nebbiolo to give it some grip. $17.99.
Kevin Castellano is the general manager of Wayzata Wine and Spirits and a lake-area wine and liquor expert.