Cooking with kids can be a lot of fun as long as you don’t get uptight about the mess. Tacos are my 10-year-old’s specialty, and we keep things pretty simple. While he focuses on cutting tomatoes, grating cheese and trying not to burn the ground beef, I prepare something on the side to make dinner more adult-friendly. Often I’ll marinate a flank steak the night before and make fresh salsa or guacamole.
Of course, the right wine is imperative. Recently I uncorked Tablas Creek’s Côtes de Tablas Paso Robles 2007 ($25). A blend of Grenache, Syrah, Mourvèdre and Counoise, the red offers a hint of Châteauneuf-du-Pape from California’s Central Coast. In fact, Château de Beaucastel, one of the leading estates in Châteauneuf, is a partner in the Tablas Creek and supplied the bud wood.
Fermented in stainless steel and aged for a year in large French oak casks, the Côtes de Tablas is vibrant and fresh, with crisp yet racy, spicy fruit. I rated it 88 points, non-blind.
WineSpectator.com members: Read the original blind-tasting review for Tablas Creek Côtes de Tablas Paso Robles 2007 (87, $25).
• Plus, get our quick list of Easy Finds among California reds.