El Sabor d’España
To wrap up my one-month blogging love affair with Ribera del Duero, I decided to get a 2nd, 3rd, and 4th opinion on the region’s offerings by forcefully insisting inviting the amigos to come over and drink some wine in typical bachelor pad fashion.
Part of the fun here was also challenging them to bring a Spanish bottle–our tastes ranged from Ribera Robles to Rioja Rosados and Galician whites–creating a true sabor of España, melting-pot style in my living room.
I took over the tapas preparation, so alongside our wines we had a wide range of comida spanning from manchego and cabra al vino cheeses to spice rubbed pork skewers with mint dipping sauce to hummus and pita chips for those who wanted to keep it simple. Together, we decided what was el mejor vs. just some vino. Read on for the results.
Prado Rey, Ribera del Duero 2009: This young tempranillo had rich, dark earth smells (think: a backyard garden after a summer thunderstorm) and was velvety from start to finish in my mouth. Spicy, peppery notes helped this roble stand up against our spicy pork.
Cune, Rioja 2011: Bright red with a nose like strawberry syrup, this was the favorite rosado of the night. Unlike its smell, this juice wasn’t too sweet, but filled up our mouths with round berry goodness and tasted best alongside semi-soft fontina cheese (Mmmmmmm).
Monte Castrillo, Ribera del Duero 2011: My personal favorite Ribera discovery, this rosado pleased the crowd, winning our most versatile pour award. I’d recommend this strawbery-colored crowd pleaser for parties where anything from crudités to empanadas are on the menu.
Taja, Jumilla 2006: This region in Southeastern Spain was new to me, and I enjoyed this red blend, which didn’t include the ever-popular tempranillo. It sounds oxymoronic, but I’d call this wine gentle and bold–it had strong cherry and oak flavors, but they weren’t too intense and went down easy.
Ribera Recap/España Uncorked:
Laura Loves: The versatility of wines from Ribera del Duero–from light rosados to intense reservas, there’s something to pour no matter what you’re serving. (Though I prefer a sexy reserva any day, any time.)
Challenging friends with strange wine requests–Just wait ‘til I host a German tasting.
Fun Facts: Ribera del Duero receives only about 17” of rain per year, about 1/3 of what NYC receives annually.
@ the Store: Look for stickers on the back of bottles to identify regions you’ve come to love.
Spain in 140 Characters: Mucho #wine to explore, 11 regions, red, white,rosé, & more! delicioso <3