Carignan is one of those grapes that deserve a wider audience. Its substantial tannins make it a great blending grape in France’s Rhône and Languedoc-Roussillon region and parts of Spain (where it’s usually called carignena). But it can be superb on its own, as with the 2012 Tessellae Vielles Vignes Carignan ($15). This stout but approachable French red is laden with mineral texture mingling with dark-red and blue fruit flavors. The finish is hearty and lengthy. Try it with the roasts, braises and stews that rock at this time of year, as well as hearty soups and hard cheeses.
Available at Liquor Boy, France 44, Solo Vino, North Loop and Northfield Liquor.