It's easy to see why malbecs became popular (and basically replaced merlot and/or shiraz for many consumers). They tend to be easy-drinking, but with enough heft to be taken seriously, and fruit-forward in friendly fashion. One of the most exemplary I've come across of late is the 2013 Kaiken Reserva Malbec ($14), a blackberry delight that's full-flavored and -bodied, with some nice spice and cocoa/chocolate on the finish. It's smooth and balanced, with nice grip and persistence (perhaps the 4 percent of cabernet mixed in helps). Since it gets better in the glass (with oxygen exposure), decanting is not a bad idea. This robust Argentine red is made for grilled sausages and burgers; hearty pastas are a swell pairing option, as well.

Available at Eden Prairie munis, Total Wine, Zipp's, 1010 Washington and Dolce Vita.