And it’s just as wonderful as last year, when the Neprica was the third best read post on my wine blog. And, in even better news, it’s apparently more widely available this year. Look for it at selected Albertson’s and Central Market. (Thanks to Kathleen Talbert at Talbert Communications for tracking down availability.)

Why is this wine so wonderful? It’s cheap – list is $12, so it’s probably $10.99 or less at most outlets. It’s well made, with typical Italian acidity and sour cherry fruit. It’s food friendly, pairing with anything from red sauce to sausages and grilled peppers and onions. Plus, it’s made with some interesting grapes, including the Italian varietals negroamaro and primitivo. The world does not revolve around cabernet sauvignon and merlot.

And why is the Neprica more available this year? Because, apparently, so many people asked about it. This is an example of consumers convincing retailers they should actually stock something more interesting than the usual bottles they stick on the shelves. A tip o’ the wine glass to everyone who asked about it. You made a difference.

After the jump, some thoughts on Valentine’s Day, a holiday many wine writers don’t like very much.
And we don’t like it because it’s annoyingly difficult to pair wine with the holiday’s basic food group, chocolate. You can see my take on the holiday and my non-wine and chocolate suggestions here, and there are plenty of other thoughts floating around the cyber ether:

• The strangest bit of Valentine’s Day advice I’ve ever seen: “The new Valentine’s menu is heart-shaped hamburgers any style. The bubbly is beer.”

• If you insist on pairing wine with chocolate (and I’m sorry, Gil Kuhlers.)

• A solid, always classy suggestion from Dave McIntyre.

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