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WORTH THE DRIVE: The best wines to try at Jungle Jim’s International Wine Festival

Jungle Jim’s, the foodie paradise, is throwing its 11th annual international wine festival this weekend. Amateurs and connoisseurs can chat with experts, munch on internationally-themed appetizers (or a full dinner if you purchase the Connoisseur option), and sample from over 400 wines from 90 wineries.

>> PHOTOS: A look back at Jungle Jim’s International Wine Fest 2017

But with so much variety, where do you start? Four Jungle Jim’s experts gave us their picks.

Ed Winson, Manager of the Fairfield Jungle Jim’s Beer and Wine Department

Quilt Cabernet Sauvignon: This Napa Valley red wine blends hazelnut, cocoa, blackberry preserves, and charred meat with notes of brown sugar, rhubarb, strawberry and molasses.

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Charles Krug Cabernet Sauvignon: This red wine utilizes the black fruits for its flavor, including black cherry and blackberry combined with dried blueberry and cocoa, also from Napa Valley.

Signorello Cabernet Sauvignon: This dense red from the Napa Valley Signorello Estate carries a softer tannin structure with notes of black currants, blueberries, charcoal and graphite.

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The 10th annual Jungle Jim’s International Wine Festival took place Nov. 10-11, 2017 and featured more than 90 wineries and more than 400 wines from all over the world. Tom Gilliam Photography for Dayton.com (Tom Gilliam/Tom Gilliam)

Kevin Keith, Jungle Jim’s International Wine Festival Judge

Juve y Camps Reserva de la Familia Cava Brut: This Spanish sparkling wine has a white fruit flavor with notes of baked goods, toasted bread, and spices.

Revelry Range: From Washington State, this sultry wine is a blend of Grenache (red wine grape varietal) and Syrah (neutral French oak).

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The 10th annual Jungle Jim’s International Wine Festival took place Nov. 10-11, 2017 and featured more than 90 wineries and more than 400 wines from all over the world. Tom Gilliam Photography by Dayton.com (Tom Gilliam/Tom Gilliam)

Todd Wiggs, Manager of the Eastgate Jungle Jim’s Beer and Wine Department

Champagne Delamotte Brut NV: This French sparkling wine carries hints of citrus, white flowers and lemon peel.

Burnet Ridge Purple Trillium: This dark ruby, Pauillac-style Bordeaux blend from California consists of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Malbec, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot, with notes of raspberry fruit and green olive aromas.

Barone Ricasoli Casalferro IGT: This Italian merlot has soft tannins, ripe red fruit aromas and balsamic eucalyptus tones.

The 10th annual Jungle Jim’s International Wine Festival took place Nov. 10-11, 2017 and featured more than 90 wineries and more than 400 wines from all over the world. Tom Gilliam Photography by Dayton.com (Tom Gilliam/Tom Gilliam)

T.J. Askren, Assistant Manager of the Fairfield Jungle Jim’s Beer and Wine Department

Brandlin Cabernet Sauvignon: This Napa Valley vintage has tones of blackberry, boysenberry jam, mocha, toffee and Saigon cinnamon. Aroma-wise, it’s a combination of violets, rose petals and fresh currants.

Concha Y Toro Don Melchor Cabernet Sauvignon: This medium-bodied red from Chile has red fruit flavors and ripe tannins.

Grgich Hills Estate Chardonnay: The “pride and joy” of this Napa Valley winery is in French oak casks and doesn’t undergo malolactic fermentation, thus preserving its natural acidity.

WANT TO GO?

What: Jungle Jim’s International Wine Festival

When: Nov. 9-10, 7-10 p.m.

Where: The Oscar Event Center at Jungle Jim’s International Market, 5440 Dixie Hwy, Fairfield

Cost: $60 (grand tasting), $125 (connoisseur), $25-$75 (non-drinker)

More Info: 513-674-6000 or www.junglejims.com

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