Tag Archives: tempranillo

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


Miguel’s Infinite Wisdom

Senior Torres is at it again –  hitting the market with a $12 bottle of Tempranillo and Cab Sav wine –  Torres Infinite – that is delicious and tastes like a good $12 bottle of wine .  That may not sound like  a compliment but it’s meant as one.  I have bought many $12 bottles that should have been priced at $5 so that I could have overlooked them as cheap and poorly made instead of buying them and being thoroughly disappointed.

I hope this doesn’t sound like a backhanded compliment but as I was drinking this wine I kept thinking, “This isn’t bad” and realizing that it was in fact quite good.  Not too much fruit – but good Tempranillo fruitiness.  Not too sharp – but nice tannic finish.  It doesn’t taste like a $30 wine – but it would be great at a BBQ with steak or burgers. 

It’s a good wine!


Spain | Miguel Torres S.A.,
LCBO 231795 | 750 mL
WAS: $ 12.95 | NOW: $ 11.95 | SAVE: $ 1.00
until June 19 at the LCBO


Los Molinos Gran Reserva – everyday Red

aka How I fell in love with the Red Brick Café

This is really a wine tasting note but there’s a great story in it so just bear with me and read on.

Just after the Red Brick Café opened in Guelph I walked in to find that they also served wine!  Excellent.  I was very surprised to find that their house red was a Gran Reserva. Who serves a Gran Reserva for a house wine when you can make a killing on Citra or some other $6 bottle of non-offensive red?  I had to meet this owner – who turned out to be Shelley – who turned out to love both her café and wine – who turned into a friend – who now let’s me select the wines for her café.  So really this wine found me a café, a friend, and a wine gig.  Pretty cool.

LCBO 620971 | Price: $ 14.70  VALDEPENAS – selected because it was Red Brick Cafes first Spanish house wine

A Gran Reserva ages 5 years – 2 in American oak barrels and 3 in the bottle before release.  This aromatic wine from a tiny area in La Mancha tastes of moderate smooth tannins and vanilla. It is medium bodied with flavours of red fruit.

Unlike Rioja wines, here the tempranillo grape is smoother and takes on quite a bit of oak.  It’s a great price for a Gran Reserva and tasty too (and people can say “oooh a Gran Reserva”, and you can be all “its just a little something I picked up”, and they can exclaim “that’s so totally  thoughtful” … etc. etc.)