Tierra de Castilla - Spain
From the bottle
'A yellow colour with greenish tints, clear and bright. Typical Airen aromas on the nose with hints of greenage. On the palate teh wine is smooth, complex and persistent witha crisp finish. A well balanced full bodied wine that is very versatile with food.'
Price £5.13 (Brought from Budgens with 25% off deal)
Whilst it's true to say that evidence of humans making and drinking wine can be found to go back thousands of years (check out my brief history of wine posts for more accurate facts and figures with which you can wow your friends) the technology with which we use to make this glorious liquid has evolved somewhat. This includes amongst other things pesticides to keep the vines from being ravaged, chemicals used in filtration to make the wine clear and more appealing and preservatives so that all the hard work that nature and winemaker have crafted together does not fade away too quickly.
Now I, like most people, prefer to have the least amount of human intervention when it comes to food and drink, but this is even more so wine. Why? I hear the more inquisitive of you ask. Is it because I am against the slightly shady operation that means wine is not subject to the same labelling laws as other beverages? No, although this is a subject post worthy in itself, it is more important than that. Quite frankly the less stuff done to the contents of my glass means I can adequately rationalise to myself that wine is just fermented grape juice. Grape juice comes from grapes, which is a fruit. Ergo, I have just ticked off one of my five a day.
However, I also like things to taste nice and this unfortunately is where many an organic wine falls down. This, sadly one of these said wines. Actually be that might be a bit harsh. It isn't unpleasant in anyway but it isn't tantalising either.
In the glass it has a slight green tinge and aromas of green apple, grapefruit and melon come out of the glass. Nuances of grapefruit and melon can be tasted on the palate but it lacking anything striking. Feels clean and soft with an almost buttery mouthfeel. Would not be a good match to any creamy foods, due to the lack of acidity to cut through, but as a middle of the road wine would probably go okay with lots of other things. Good but not great.
Rating - Wouldn't turn down a free glass
From the Bottle
Dark red colour with well integrated aromas of ripe fruit. The palate is balanced and well structured. Serve between 14-16c
Price £4.99 (Available from Budgens)
Rioja seems to be one of the new darling wine of the moment. The one people ask for if they want to seem a little bit more 'knowledgeable' about wine and not just order a standard Merlot or Cab Sav. Even my dad has told me that Rioja is his current favourite, a fiftyish year old, 6ft4, Jamican born in Birmingham, not that you need to know that, but it tickles me when I think of him going into a bar and specifically ordering a bottle of Rioja. Anyways, this particular one is a blend of Grenache Noir and Tempranillo grapes, which combine to give a bouquet of lush fruits, slight spice and a hint of vanilla (from the limited time spent in oak). The taste mimics the fruity smell and there is slight acidity that balances well. Supple tannins are observed with a slight heat to the back of the throat.
Rating - Worth scraping your pennies together for
From the bottle:
'a richly flavoured, full bodied wine made from Garnacha, Tempranillo and Carinena grapes which combines vibrant cherry and raspberry flavours and a vanilla spice oak character... Grapes are carefully hand harvested and then fermented and then aged for at least 24 months in American oak barrels. Enjoy with roasted red meats, game and strong cheeses.'
Price £9.99 (Available from Tesco)
I brought this Gran Reserva because I thought the label and the name sounded like quite a posh wine to start my blog with, but it wasn't as good as it looked. On the nose you get red fruits with a background of spice and a hint of butter. Coming to the taste the fruit is somewhat lacking and so the spice seems a tad unbalanced. A little harshness at the back of the throat and noticeable tannins. Left with slight acidic after taste.
Rating - Would cry more over spilt milk