I have spent the last two days shopping Hoboken’s various wine retailers to see what new selections would catch my eye. At several locations Mark West Pinot Noir 2008 was prominently featured so I decided to see for myself what this much respected red wine had to offer. Produced in Graton, Sonoma County, CA by Mark West Winery this pinot noir has a lot of bang for the buck and won’t empty your wallet. Their focus at Mark West Winery is to create affordable wine that anyone can enjoy by retaining the same elements and quality of a pricier pinot. After two nights of drinking heavier, more tannic cabernet sauvignon this wine was a most welcome change. It had a beautiful light translucent ruby color in the glass and a mouthwatering strawberry aroma. The palate was very fruit forward with concentrated cherry, raspberry, and strawberry flavors with some spiciness from it’s oak aging. I paired this wine with three different cheeses: brie, Port Salut, and aged gouda. It paired well with all of the cheeses and would be the perfect red wine to pair with just about any dish. I am not surprised that Mark West Pinot Noir won it’s category in a blind tasting. If you prefer a lighter style red wine that is full of fruit but not too sweet you will really like this pinot noir. It is a delicious and versatile red wine and is available for under $13.