Sommelier: Magnificat

While the right side of my taste buds parallels the same latitude as Bordeaux, my left is all American—just perfect to fully appreciate Franciscan Estate Magnificat Napa Valley Meritage.

Although California’s “Meritage” classification has not yet garnered Bordeaux’s cult status, both are produced from the same century-old cast of characters—cabernet sauvignon, merlot, cabernet franc, petit verdot and malbec. Both blends are elegant yet powerful and deceptively complex, but unlike the more upscale Bordeaux reds, Magnificat Meritage does not require a second mortgage. Full bodied with almost edible aromas of dried violets set squarely over a blueberry base, this scary good red has finesse enough to reign in the new oak, tame the tannins and provide a velvet finish.

Franciscan Magnificat is featured at Ruth’s Chris Steak House, where it pairs perfectly with the Bone-In Filet. There is just something about the beauty of a Ruth’s Chris steak and a Big Red blend. It’s even been found at Sam’s Wholesale for $48. Or use your left brain to get to Napa for Franciscan’s popular blending seminar and your right brain to create your very own Meritage.