GRAND PRIZE WINNER: Black Box 2011
A rich, balanced wine with dried cherry and oak in nice accord. Warm and spicy on the first sip with a finish that lingers beautifully. It wants to hang out with a meaty dish, like spaghetti and meatballs or beef bourguignonne.
TASTE TEST AWARD: Carlo Rossi
A great option if you think you don't like merlot—it's the right mix of spice and floral sweetness, with slight vanilla undertones. Try it with balsamic-glazed chicken or something on the spicy side, like pasta arrabbiata.