Ent wine? Why would you make wine out of trees that can walk and talk?
Oh, it's called Entwine.
The wine is made by Wente, and shares branding with Food Network. It's a natural marketing partnership that includes four basic, inexpensive wines: the two below plus Pinot Grigio and Cabernet Sauvignon. For some people, this will be the first bottle of wine they buy, because they trust the Food Network name. If it's attached to Rachel Ray and various cake makers, then it can't be too scary.
And more importantly, Wente makes serious wines at all price levels. They've got a great opportunity to make customers for life who will work their way up the chain of products over the years as they become more and more interested in wine.
2010 Entwine Chardonnay
$13, 13% abv.
Fruity with a lot of cantaloupe and peach. Initially low acidity, but it pops up on the finish with a crisp bite. I've been making a lot of smoked chicken this summer, so apologies if the pairing is getting old, but this worked out very well with some smoked chicken and a nice fruit salad.
2009 Entwine Merlot
$13, 13.5% abv.
This has a slightly buttery nose with dominant aromas of red cherry. It's fruit forward with firm tannins and a medium finish. It's not the fruit bomb you might think about with a $13 California Merlot, but it does give you a good concept of the grape as it's made in the state. This one is a great pizza or burger wine, though maybe you're using some goat cheese on that pizza or sliced pickled onions on the burger.
Note: These wines were received as samples.