Like the Dubyas, we don’t usually pair wines with dinners. We wait for Clare to go to bed and then pop open a bottle. We do usually pair a bottle with some cheese or crackers or some other picking like olives or sausage though (can’t call it an appetizer if it’s after dinner…and hors d’oeuvres is just too fancy for us), and that’s what we did on Saturday.
We also picked a wine that we’d already bought—a 2003 Spanish rioja from Marqués de Cárceres that we picked up for $12 a few weeks ago, but hadn’t tried yet. Spanish wines have become popular in the past few years, and we’ve had a few others that we’ve liked.
The winery describes the wine like this:
Bright, ruby red colour. Lively bouquet with notes of red fruit that add a pleasant freshness softened by a discreet touch of vanilla. Deliciously full in the mouth where well integrated, silky tannins highlight the wine’s fruit. Good length in which the complexity of flavours comes through delicately.
I’ll be honest. I don’t know all the proper words for describing a wine. I know that bouquet equals smell; I know that tannins have something to do with the grape skins. But, beyond obviously dry, sweet or fruity wines, I’m not good with all that “undertones” and “hints of” talk. Here’s what I can say: the wine is smooth and fruity and a slight oakiness from the casking is obvious. It’s exactly what I like in a red wine.
The wine is recommended as an accompaniment to Mediterranean food, grilled vegetables, pasta, paella and rice dishes, hams, sausages and cheeses. In other words, it’s a good pairing for Spanish food or tapas—which might just be the coolest word for what we had it with.