Sometimes you just get a hankering for a big, bold red, but that doesn't necessarily mean a wine that obliterates everything else on the table. Bold can also be elegant, which is exactly why I fell for the 2006 Bishop from Australia's Barossa Valley. The Shiraz fruit, from the dry-farmed Ebenezer vineyards, is gorgeous, with a deep ruby color, intense flavors of cassis and blackberries, and gentle tannins. The Bishop also has a rare elegance, despite its exuberance.
Break out a bottle to enjoy with a standing rib roast, beef braised in red wine or a simple skirt steak. The wine will provide the complexity.
-- S. Irene Virbila Region: Barossa Valley (Australia)
Price: about $32
Style: rich and full-bodied
What it goes with: rib roast, skirt steak, braised beef
Where to find it: Larchmont Village Wine, Spirits & Cheese in Los Angeles, (323) 856-8699; Moe's Fine Wines in Brentwood, (310) 826-4444, www.moesfine; Malibu Village Wines in Malibu, (310) 456-2924, www.malibu; and Wine Exchange in Orange, (714) 974-1454 or (800) 769-4639, www.winex.com.