Sometimes you want something yummy but aren't in the mood to chew. Very well. I hereby offer you this wine from a vintner in Spain named Bodegas Castaño, which has gotten my attention.
While this vintner also offers other wines of remarkable quality you may wish to consider, I propose this one because in my considered opinion a wine must, above else, be food-friendly. The others are more oaky and more structured and more tannic and y'know? Good luck cooking something that goes with that kind of wine.
Since it's one of the last three surviving "bodegas" in southeastern Spain's Yecla region (Denominación de Origen), and has managed to stay the course over five generations you might safely assume they know something
Anyway, to my mind, Castaño's most exciting release of the 2005 vintage is their entry-level wine is made from 100% Monastrell grapes. The price seems one geared to drive the vintner deep into bankruptcy, so you have to have faith these guys know what they're doing--counterintuitive as that may be--and enjoy the pricing, which is completely out of line with the quality and food pairability. It has a bright, fresh raspberry/cherry going on, both in the aroma (yummy!) and also the dense flavors on the palate. It has great structure and texture with the whole tannin thing being supple and not obnoxious.
Your average wine reviewer would probably give this wine a "decent" score, after spitting mouthfuls of a squajillion wines into a bucket for hours. Which is fine, only you'd likely overlook it because most publications want to funnel the reader into the 90+ point stuff. But that 90+ point stuff invariably is loaded with tannins and oak and makes for a food pairing as happy as Ann Coulter and Amanda Marcotte stuck together in an elevator.
I'll tell you what. So it's a great match to the sort of not-too-hot/medium spiced, not too saucy, updated trattoria/bistro-style stuff. Think of things such as "steak frites" or that killer roast chicken or braised short ribs. But, because it has that great texture and mouthfeel, it can hold up to more frou-frou dishes (think of a lightened, 21st Century Beef Wellington, for example, or herbed leg/rack of lamb) as well.
At US$ 15/bottle, you should run out and get a case. Then you'd serve it the next time you're cooking something vaguely Bourdain-ish or Mediterranean-inspired from the grill* and you'd look like a raving genius.
But it doesn't cost $15...it costs $8**
* Barbecue to those not conversant with live-fire speak.
** Probably less if you shop around online.
Labels: Badger will be livid, For this I switched?, How much room do I have for this?, Labels are stupid, Somehow I am not getting tired of this, This Space For Rent, You'd think I'd get tired by now
Posted by Joke at 5:33 PM
blackbird posted at 8:56 PM, February 19, 2007
daysgoby posted at 9:05 PM, February 19, 2007
Now you've gone and made me all thirsty.
la posted at 9:06 PM, February 19, 2007
I am charmed by the way you are totally wooing me through your labels.
Have not seen this in the Spanish subsection of the wine section of my sucky (but okay, wine-wise) supermarket, HOWEVAH, I will ask my French wine guy about it. Maybe. Assuming I get tired of what I'm already drinking.
Badger posted at 9:15 PM, February 19, 2007
Um, that was me. Blogger is totally f*cking with me AGAIN.
perceptive reader posted at 9:45 PM, February 19, 2007
We drink lots of hecula yecla because it's so damn fun to say
Joke posted at 9:47 PM, February 19, 2007
Sounds like cartoon characters when you say it that way!