Tuesday, March 10, 2009

$10 Tuesday, Taking a Chance in the Spanish Aisle

We are running lean and mean in the wine cellar. We have some nice bottles left in the cellar, but I’m coming off from a two week shutdown and I have another shutdown facing me in the near future. Now isn’t the time to be plopping down big buck for over the top wines. I was driving home from doing research for my maple post and realized that I need a $10 wine for Tuesday.

Driving down I-95 through New Hampshire, you hit a stretch where there are two state owned liquor stores, one for the north bound traffic, one for the south bound traffic. I normally don’t see the point of shopping at the state stores. I have my favorite wine shops where I know the folks behind the counter and I can count on getting something really good. I may pay a buck or two more, but I’m giving my money to a store owner, not the government. The government will be getting its 5 pounds of flesh from us in five weeks, thank you very much.

The salient point is that I was thinking about our readers. I know times are tough, but I want our readers to find values without feeling like they have to run around barefoot with penguins and kangaroos. For me, that would be sad. Realizing that I have the same problem as many out there, what advice do I have to give? Be adventurous and try new things.

Italy, Spain, Chile, Argentina are all cranking out some really good values these days. I headed to the Italian section and saw three or four wines that would be good. We are having pork, so I don’t want a big, bold Chilean or Argentinean wine. Australia is out. Too big for what B is going to make. B’s recipe is going to be mildly spiced and flavorful. It’s time to walk down the Spanish wine aisle.

On my way, I walked by a nice selection of Bordeaux and Cotes du Rhone wines; a couple of Sangiovese wines... You see, there are plenty of great candidates for a $10 Tuesday wine. And then, there it was…something that I had no idea what it was! 2006 Protocolo Vino de la Tierra de Castilla. Red wine from the north of Spain, $7.99. What the hell is this stuff? I have no clue. It’s either going to be good or not. Let’s see how it did.

Vino de la Tierra de Castilla
(country wine of Castilla)

Vintage: 2006
Alcohol: 13.5
Price: $7.99

Color: Garnet
Intensity: Dark
Aromas: Dust, prune, raisin, cherry, blueberry, earth,
Flavors: Cherry, raspberry, pomegranate, cranberry, allspice, tobacco, chocolate, chestnut wood
Body: Full
Sweetness: Dry
Tannins: Leather
Finish: Long

Summary: I’m very happy with this wine. It is big but will yield for B’s pork and roasted sweet potatoes. The first whiff was dusty, earthy and spicy. Then the wine opened up with dried fruit and spices. This is good. For me, this is the best wine experience: Walking down the aisles, making an educated guess and then being surprised at how good it really is.

This will go well with pork, red Mexican dishes, roasted anything, Mediterranean, and Moroccan.

Later, curiosity was killing me. What is this stuff? I had to find out. A little work uncovered that it’s Tempranillo!


dirty said...


This is a decent bottle for the price. I just tried this for bargain wine thing I was doing and it did fairly well.

(I liked their white better than their red.)

Jorge Ordonez has a lot of wines in the sub-$10 that are pretty decent.