Tag Archives: Rioja

Local Produce

Wherever you are there you will be. So if you be there then you should eat whatever is local.
When in the Costa del Sol in Spain nothing is more local than seafood paella with a chilled Rioja. If you’re not chilling your red wine in the summer then you need to start.
These be some photos of the paella I made Saturday night with tiny clams, Galatia mussels, calamari, and shrimp.

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World Cup Predictions

Manatees, monkeys, and an octopus are all used as predictor of winners of major sporting events. Groundhogs too if you count Spring as a sporting event.

So this year I decided to open a Rioja and if it sees its shadow then Spain is going to win FIFA’s World Cup again. The proof is right before you.  Start singing “Campeones, campeones, ole, ole, ole!

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Thanks Bodegas LAN – you were delicious.20140608-164032-60032357.jpg


Picking Spain

I get distracted easily.  Recently I’ve been writing about beer, cognac, chocolate, and the election.  Already the title of this post, Picking Spain, has me thinking about the World Cup and not wine. Time to get back to wine – at least until something else distracts me.

As the summer draws closer my thoughts turn to my 2nd home – Spain. Okay, so it’s my brother’s home but whatever. I will be there in a month buying what the Spaniards call “el cheap wine“. The locals like it when you learn their language.

I think I should start preparing for my trip.  My wife starts packing for her trip about now – deciding on her colour story [that's a real thing apparently]. I’ll start with my best selections from the LCBO  Spanish wines [click for LCBO link]. My colour story is 2 reds, a white, and a rosado.

  1. Beronia Reserva $20- classic Rioja [Tempranillo grape] at an affordable price. Reminds me of a hot, dry Spanish summer
  2. Hecula $12- lighter than a Rioja made in the south from Monastrell grapes
  3. Marquis de Riscal $13- a crisp white for those hot days in the garden
  4. Muga Rosado  $13- get it while you can – best pink in the store

And while I think of it … I did pick Spain to win the World Cup again.  Iker!!!!!

BERONIA RESERVA – Smooth tannins. Reservas are aged for a minimum of 1 yr in oak and 2 yrs in the bottle. They cost a little more but believe me, they are worth it.
VINTAGES Essential 50203 |Price $ 19.95

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Healthiest Diet Ever

I think I can safely say – with science backing me up – that I have discovered the best diet ever.  Better than South Beach, The Zone, and Ms. Craig put together.

The diet is a two part diet.

Part 1 – Red Wine. Let’s look at the facts

The Guelph Mercury [a consistently reliable source] published an article just last week about the health effects of Red Wine entitled  “Wine could be good for your kidneys, study suggests.” Which is excellent news, since I have two kidneys just craving a Spanish red wine tonight.

Part 2 – Chocolate.

Recently my daughter took a photo of TCHO chocolate at downtown Guelph’s fine food store Ouderkirk & Taylor. I tweeted it. We won a National contest. Next thing I know a small crate of chocolate appeared at our front door.  Well done my child.   How is it healthy for you?  See for yourself. Chocolate “vitamins” look good to me. Also, I’m a sucker for brilliant marketing.

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You can follow my lecture on the Red Wine study here

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NYR

I recently heard New Years Resolutions referred to as a “to-do” list for the first week of January. Personally, I love the NYR.

I’ve been asking around to see if any people have NYRs concerning wine drinking and buying. Here are the responses I received.

Editor of a “large” metropolitan newspaper, “I resolve to find ‘the’ wine that both my wife and I enjoy.”  My solution –  stop trying to find a wine you both enjoy and open 2 bottles.

Linktrap John, “Pay attention to food and wine pairings chocolate” – and then he sent me a photo of a Merlot with a Toblerone. Sorry John, I can’t help you.

My brother-in-law, “Drink more of your wine ” – Hey, I may borrow that and try and drink more of other people’s wines too.

My daughter, “Dad, I don’t even drink wine” – fair enough.

This year I resolve to drink more Rioja, Côtes du Rhône, and Australian Shiraz. Like my friend Rob said, “Hey, those our resolutions every year?” – fair enough.

What are your resolutions?

failed-resolutions


Taste Memory

My two strongest memories from this summer’s Spanish vacation are of the delicious red wine we drank and the 15 dogs that barked me awake at 3:30 each morning. Perros estúpidos!

Taste memories are strong. So this week I’ve been blocking the dog/sleep thing by focusing on the red wine.  Problem is that there is no Mercadoña or Carrefour to visit where I can buy Rioja for 2 €. Sad, but I am up for the LCBO challenge of finding a great inexpensive wine from Spain.

After trying 3 “good looking” red wines the winner was clear. Beronia is a dry, hot summer in your mouth (in a good way). It just became this year’s house wine in Casa Oke.

BERONIA TEMPRANILLO RIOJA
LCBO 243055 | Price: $ 11.25


A rather complicated source

Sometimes the stories behind a wine are just as interesting as the wine itself. Often they are better. James in Paris hooked me up with these two bottles.

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The rosé from an Albanian friend who distributes for Famille Sumeire – a small family winery in Provence. The 1998 Reserva Rioja from an Irishman living in Paris who collected this bottle while living in Spain. He gave it to James in Paris as a thank you for helping him move the contents of his cellar (or “cave” as the French have it) two blocks down the road to his new home.

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Both were fantastic wines. Why I ended up with them is simply a story of generosity. Thanks James in Paris.

And thanks Brother in Spain who cooked this canard for me in Paris to enjoy with the wine.

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