Any new year’s resolutions? My sister-in-Spain’s resolution was to replace all the light bulbs in her house that were blown out – lofty goal indeed. I guess light bulbs in Spain are way more complicated than they are here in Guelph.
How about getting serious about wine this year? I was horrified last week to discover that my daughter in Toronto was drinking a glass of mediocre red that had been opened for 6 days already! Come on M – I think you can get seriously ill on that stuff. I almost got seriously ill thinking of one of my own drinking inadequate wine.
So I took matters into my own hands took control of the situation [which as i understand kids like their dads to do] in this manner.
1. I bought her a Weinfrischhalter Geschenskset “wine suctiony vacuumy thing” as brother-in-spain calls it. Since it now comes in sage [a colour I just learned while purchasing the W-G] it is now as attractive to look at as it is to say.
2. I also bought her 4 bottles of lcbo value red wines.
Hecula from Yecla Spain [$12] – a nice smooth uncomplicated Monastrell
La Vielle Ferme [$11] because the old farm never disappoints when a rustic Côtes du Rhône is on the menu
Luccarelli’s Primitivo – at under $10 it is a steal – the new Italian Job if you like
120 Santa Rita Cab blend from Chile – also under $10 and delightfully heavy on the cab franc
I can sleep easier knowing that my girl is safe and sound when i can’t be around to pour a decent glass of wine for her. Hopefully she’s saying Weinfrischhalter Geschenskset and giggling to her own amusement at funny German words like i do.
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.
- Beronia Reserva $20- classic Rioja [Tempranillo grape] at an affordable price. Reminds me of a hot, dry Spanish summer
- Hecula $12- lighter than a Rioja made in the south from Monastrell grapes
- Marquis de Riscal $13- a crisp white for those hot days in the garden
- 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
“Stop drinking water – rather drink a little wine for the stomach ailments that you’ve been getting” St. Paul the Apostle.
I have half a theology degree – which isn’t as dangerous as it sounds – so I am inclined to believe everything that St Paul says. In this, his first letter to Timothy, Paul addresses the topic of wine – presumably red wine.
The message seems clear and straightforward to me. However, I think I may keep on drinking a little wine to prevent stomach ailments before I get them. As the bible says “The Lord helps those who help themselves“. No wait, that’s not in the bible – I should have completed that B.Th.
Here is what we are drinking this week. A Monastrell from Spain for $11 which hits the perfect balance of fresh and rustic for your mid-week bible study.
Always on the lookout for a bargain wine, I pay attention when new products appear on the LCBO shelves that are from Spain and under $12
When I saw the name Hécula on the Spanish shelf I exclaimed “Heck ya”. Hécula was one of my house wines that the LCBO didn’t sell enough of – so it went on the dreaded product discontinued list. The current version is considered a “step down” in price point for the producer , Bodega Castaño, but it doesn’t taste like it. In fact it tastes like they just knocked $4 off the price of a great bottle of wine.
Hécula is from the region of Yecla – no I didn’t make that up. Made from the Monastrell grape it has a bit of tannin, lively fruit, and is very food friendly. Certainly one of the LCBO best buys.
As an aside – there have been several times that a wine I recommend has made it to the product discontinued list because the LCBO didn’t sell enough of it. Maybe you should be reconsider listening to my recommendations – it appears that nobody else buys what I do. It certainly reflects my scope of influence.
The Red Brick Café Wines are Great this December and it’s not just how they taste. They are also fun to say out loud – not usually a selection criteria for me – it just happened.
Strewn Riesling / Gewurztraminer from Niagara.
Riesling is my favorite white wine but really what is great about this wine is that I can’t help but smile when I say Gewürztraminer (you have to click here to hear it). Thank goodness for the internet. Could anyone really pronounce it based on the dictionary help (ɡəˈvʏɐtstʁaˈmi:nɐ)? Seriously, does anyone consider that helpful? Personally I like to say it in a lower guttural German sound or yell it like Dana Carvey and Steven Carell in Germans Who Say Nice Things. That just make the funnier when you know that the translation of Gewürztraminer is “perfumed Traminer”. Cute huh? Also, I woüld like to üse the ümlaüt whenever I remember (ü).
Georges DuBoeuf Beaujolais-Villages from France 2008
Georges DuBoeuf is the King of Beaujolais wines and his Beaujolais-Villages is a step up from Beaujolais vin ordinaire. This is a chance to practice your pretentious French accent. DuBoeuf, as we all know, really just means “of Boeuf” (Kenn’s regular language joke)– the French have such a way with names. This Beaujolais is smooth and very quaffable. You could easily gulp this wine if you were in a hurry.
Bodegas Castaño Hécula Monastrell from Spain 2007
This is also fun to say at a wine tasting– “Now try the Hécula is from Yecla”. Yecla is a great value wine region in Southeastern Spain near the larger region of Jumilla. It is a great wine with manly tannins but she’ll like it too! The Monastrell grape is the Spanish version of the French Mourvedre so it probably will remind you of a rustic wine from the Southern Rhône region. Hécula from Yecla? – heck ya.