Coppo L'avvocata Barbera d'Asti 2012 - My top pick, but I'm a Barbera fan. Red fruits and a spicy effervescence. $14
Scarpetta Barbera del Monferrato 2012 - We all agreed on this for our bottle with lunch. Fruity, though darker, with earthiness. $16
Telmo Rodriguez LZ Vinedos de Lanziego Tempranillo 2011 - Jammy with smoke. Very pleasant and lengthy. Only one of us was a fan. $18
Recuerdo Malbec 2012 - Full of dark berries and currant, a little grassy. $16
Chateau La Hase Bordeaux Blend 2012 - Very mild, suffering against the bigger and fruitier opponents. It had no chance in this lineup. $14
Tasting several wines the glass can be an informative and fun social experience, and our impromptu session led us to a few bottles to seek out for the full experience. Take advantage of your dining out opportunities to experiment, and find the next big wine on your list.