Vina Robles Red 4, Paso Robles is scrumpdillicious! Beautifully deep color and legs that stain the side of a big ol' Riedel stem. Chocolate-covered cherries on the nose and palate with a healthy sprinkle of fresh-cracked black pepper. Good bit of sweet fennel bulb and baking spice lurking in the shadows as well. Really long, dry, dusty, cocoa-like finish with more substantial tannins than you would expect for a $15 wine. Nice acidity, too. Not sure what the oak program is with this wine, but it isn't noticeable. A tremendously drinkable and food-friendly blend of 42% Petite Sirah, 28% Grenache, 22% Syrah and 8% Mourvedre.
Dinner was my not-yet-famous "mixed grill." I grill up a couple of links of Italian sausage and while they are relaxing, I throw on a mess of sliced zucchini, yellow squash and eggplant bathed in olive oil and spices. Then slice everything and serve over a bed of soft, cheesy polenta with a dollop of tomato sauce. Parmesan cheese and a sprinkle of garden-fresh Italian parsley for garnish. (I always dust mine with some crushed red pepper flakes, too.)