Living only a brief car ride away from a major center of wine production, I often become stuck in a rut of drinking only California wines. Though not bad, too much of anything isn’t always good. Recently, I received a bottle of wine from my sister-in-law that reminded me there is a world of wine to try. She gave me a bottle of 2006 Graham Beck Pinno Pinotage, from South Africa. Knowing nothing about it, I felt like I was on a blind date, hoping for the best and expecting the worst. But I was surprised by its smoky aroma and rich berry flavor. It wasn’t heavy or overwhelming, and with a balance of tannins and acidity, it’s a wine well suited for sipping alone or with a meal. And at just over $10 a bottle I’d consider this my cheapest and most successful blind date ever.

2006 Graham Beck Pinno Pinotage, $11

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