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Fall vintages are dropping 


Restaurants aren't the only new additions to Plaza Venezia on Sand Lake Road. Along with a bakery for dogs, there's Gran Cru (407-226-3322), the new kid on the wine block. According to manager David Langlais, there are some fairly novel vintages that are the darlings of the fall wine set.

Norman Kiken (pronounced "KICK-en") produces a splendid red wine named after his son, Andrew Stephen. Yes, it's A. S. Kiken, a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Merlot that Wine Today calls "splendid," at about $35 a bottle. Sonoma's Purple Mountain vineyard puts out a smooth and subtle Chardonnay for $16 that even white-wine haters will enjoy.

And for that special occasion, California winery Frazier makes, according to Langlais, a "big, bold, over-the-top" Cabernet that will impress your sweetie and only set you back $55. Bottoms up.

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