The California red is aromatic yet refined, Wine Wisdom author Roger Gentile says.

Sometimes petite sirah can be a fruit bomb, just exploding with a thick, grapey, almost oily mouth feel and a jammy sweet finish that gets in the way of food.

The 2010 Cross Springs Lake County Petite Sirah is not one of them. On the contrary, this is an aromatic yet refined red with aromas of blueberry, dark chocolate and spice, with the mouth sporting flavors of mulberry, blueberry and vanilla. Simply, it's a complement to a meal as opposed to being the meal.

This particular region of Lake County was considered among the greatest wine growing regions in the latter 1800s, then prohibition came and stopped all that. Yet, this region north and east of Napa does attract a great deal of wine interest, and this particular vineyard was once owned by Tennessee Ernie Ford of 1960s fame.

Another attractive aspect of the Cross Springs petite is the value, only $10 a bottle. The wine is aged for 16 months in oak, hardly rushed out of the winery for a quick turn. This aging has made a balanced a delectable red that will do great with roasted chicken, barbecue dishes or that Saturday night pizza. If your wine place does not have it, try Buckeye Beverage Distributing in Columbus.

Roger Gentile is the owner of Gentile's, the Wine Sellers – – and the author of two books on wine.