Vinum Verticalis

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Beer might be the American après-climbing drink, but the Euros savor their wine. Perhaps it’s wise: a few glasses leave you feeling mellow, and without all those carbo calories. Plus, studies have hinted at the anti-aging properties of resveratrol, a compound in red wine. So I was psyched to sample a bottle of clif bar family winery THE CLIMBER 2005 RED WINE ($17,, from Napa Valley, California. My oenophiliac edge is a bit dull, so I’ll take at face value Clif’s assertion that this wine has “complex and balanced flavors of raspberry, spice, cedar, and creamy vanilla.” I can say it was excellent straight up and with lasagna, and gouda and crackers. A blend of Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon, Petite Sirah, Syrah, and Merlot, The Climber, on its bottle, pictures a grimpeur dangling from a vine — likely he’s on to the Euros’ secret sauce.

—Justin Roth

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