It's an almost Pavlovian response. Let the evening temps dip down into the 60s, I start sleeping with the windows open and think, Hmmmm, maybe a red would be nice!
I dug into the cellar and found one of the "anything other than France, Spain or Italy" wines I bought earlier in the spring, 2017 Argatia Haroula Red, from Macedonia.
Macedonia is in northern Greece, as you can see on this nice WineFolly map. Some of the grapes that grow in this region are familiar names we all know and love, like cabernet sauvignon, merlot, and sauvignon blanc. Haroula is a blend of more native grapes, primarily Xinomavro.
I got not-too-ripe black cherry on the nose tempered with a little earthiness. It's a nice medium bodied red with a fair amount of tannin that coats your mouth. With as much tannin as this has, and as fresh as this 2017 wine tastes today, you could probably cellar this for quite a while and get something that tastes like you paid way more than $16 for it. This would go perfectly with duck, lamb, or grilled chicken thighs.
If you get a chance, venture outside of the regular European wine aisles and try something new!
Also in the spirit of trying something new, Hawk Haven Winery in Cape May, NJ — one of my pals from the Winemakers Coop — is now approved to ship to New York State! There's very little I don't recommend from them, but their cab franc, riesling, and almost anything from their Signature Series are all great. Let me know if you need help with recommendations!