Playing with a couple of wines tonight which start off kinda similar. Color nearly identical: a nice rosy garnet. Both bring a big viscous–almost petrol-y–roasted fruit display to the first gush of air. Then the nero d’avola goes the direction of green briary squished-bug candied raisin and prune, while the pinot heads toward roasted meat, fresh-baked bread, smoky oak and earthy pinot goodness. After an hour of air, the Sicilian is almost all electrical fire and sickening ripe fruit, while the Santa Barbara just churns out more and more caramel, gorgeous cherry and eerie ire.

In the mouth, the Planeta is a fun, if uninspiring drop, light black cherry thin and both candied and toasted. Cloying and low in acid, it had a bit of tannin that chimes in, but that’s about it. The Cooper-Jaxon is also a fairly simple wine, a little bit cloying but perfect for foodie-fare, better acid and grip mid-palate, never losing that luscious pinot trademark and also bringing considerable fresh tannin to the party.

Two fascinating inexpensive wines from opposite ends of the world which will shine on the dinner-table and not break the bank.

2018 COOPER-JAXON Loring Wine Company Pinot Noir Santa Barbara Co 14.3

2016 PLANETA Cerasuolo di Vittoria Nero d’Avola/Frappato 60/40 Sicilia

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