…falls mainly into my glass for gustatory enjoyment. After 26 years in the wine business, primarily working with wholesale distributors, I have my favorites. And in case you were wondering, when one works for a distributor, one is not drinking a $50.00 bottle of wine every night with dinner. Far from it.
Whether red or white, my ideal is a focused wine with balanced fruit and acidity. Often, I find myself reaching for European wines as I find many moderately priced “Tuesday night” California wines monolithic and boring. Here are a couple of nice Spanish reds I’ve had during the holidays.
- Earth 2.0 2006, D.O. Navarra. Made from 100% tempranillo, the nose has clear red fruit, strawberry and cherry aromas. The medium-bodied palate has clean, nicely delineated fresh fruit flavors and appropriate acidity. It certainly doesn’t taste like a four-year-old red wine. This was a pleasant surprise from an importer I’d never heard of: Romero & Miller of Maryland. It’s unclear from the importer’s website whether 2006 is the current vintage; retail price unknown as my brother brought it with him at Christmas.
- Protocolo 2008 Vino de la Tierra de Castilla. “Vino de la Tierra de Castilla” is similar to France’s Vin de Pays labelling: a step below Denominacion de Origen. Aromas of blackberries, vanilla and spice. Medium- to full-bodied palate with black fruit and cinnamon notes and appropriate, i.e. not overpowering, tannins. Slightly hot mid-palate, with a good finish. At the $5.99 that I paid for it retail, this is a steal. Imported by Tempranillo, New Rochelle NY.