(Gary Friedman / Los Angeles…)
I poured this wine for a French friend and he laughed when he looked at the label. "You know what jaja means? It's French slang for everyday wine."
That I didn't know, but it perfectly suits this bottle of red from Yakima Valley's Maison Bleue. It's a 50-50 blend of Grenache and Syrah from a well-regarded wine estate focused on Rhone varietals, and, at less than $20, it's a great buy for a wine with this much character.
Sniff it, swirl it, the 2009 Jaja red (there's also a white version) is a fan letter to the Rhone from Washington state's Yakima Valley. Flavors of plum and dark berries sing. We drank it with a pork roast, but it's going to go well with grilled or roasted lamb with herbs, beef daubes and stews, sandwiches and burgers.
Region: Yakima Valley, Washington
Price: About $17
Style: Rich and spicy
What It goes with: Roast pork, lamb chops, beef stews, burgers
Where to find it: Italia Deli & Bakery in Agoura Hills, (818) 991-4838, http://www.italiadeli.com; Silverlake Wine in Los Angeles, (323) 662-9024, http://www.silverlakewine.com; the Wine Country in Signal Hill, (562)597-8303, http://www.thewinecountry.com; Wine Exchange in Orange, (714) 974-1454 and (800) 76-WINEX, http://www.winex.com; and Woodland Hills Wine Co. in Woodland Hills, (818) 222-1111, http://www.whwc.com.