October Wine Club

spain_punch

You may have noticed that October is the Month of Spain around these parts! Each week, I’ve chosen a different Spanish region to focus on. So far this month, we’ve visited Rioja & Southern Spain with Cataluyna coming up next and Castilla y Leon after that. It’s been a whirlwind tour, to be sure. Anybody who attends two of this months tastings will receive 10% off any single purchase over $20 in November. And anybody who attends three tastings will receive 20% off any single purchase over $20 in November. You’d also receive the last tasting for free, but as you know, wine club members already receive free tastings!

But the wines have been so well-received at the tastings that I feel inspired to plan the next few months & also to share some of these wines with you.

And since I’ve got you here, just an FYI that Barrique Barrel will open at 2:30pm on Tuesday, October 22nd. We apologize for any inconvenience this causes and appreciate your flexibility!

La Cigarrera Manzanilla

I poured some Sherry during last week’s Southern Spanish wine tasting and it excited me to see how many people enjoyed it. So, you all get sherry this week! I’m also planning a Grand Sherry tasting on December 21st, accompanied by Manchego cheese, Spanish olives, and jamón. Frankly, sherry is a massive subject (which I’ll address in further detail in December), but the first thing I’d like to address is that not all sherry is sweet. Sure, some are sweet, but Manzanillas are never sweet. Sherry is a fortified wine from Jerez, Spain. They are produced in what are called “soleras” in a criadera system. It is basically a barrel system in which the sherry from the oldest barrel is bottled and than the missing liquid is replaced with sherry from the next oldest barrel and so forth down the line. Most soleras use 4-5 barrels. What results is a surprisingly consistent wine (unlike many wines, vintage is unimportant here). Manzanilla and Fino sherries are the lightest sherries, they are mineral driven and taste briny or salty.

Food Pairing Ideas: Promise me that you’ll try this sherry with food. Sherry is really meant to be with food. In Jerez, you’d drink this style of sherry with shellfish or aged cheese. I know a sherry expert who loves to drink it with sushi. Garlickly shrimp would be a simple & delicious pairing.

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Telmo Rodriguez Al Muvedre*

This fun little wine comes to us from Alicante, a region known for their Mouvedre or Monastrell, as it’s called in Spain. In France, they mostly use this grape for blending in the Rhône region, but the Spanish let it shine on its own. It’s a bold wine, but still approachable due to its delicate tannins and spicy, full-bodied flavor.

Food Pairing Ideas: Monastrell is a natural partner for meats like lamb & pork or meaty vegetables like portobello mushrooms & eggplant. Whatever your persuasion, make sure to roast it.

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Bodegas Borsao Garnacha*

Garnacha may also be familiar to you as Grenache, but it originated in Spain right in the Aragon region (where Bodegas Borsao is located). And this winery has had a major role in reviving & elevating Garnacha. Flavorwise, it can be a bit like Primitivo with more grip to it. Since it’s more fruit-forward, it can handle a little spice.

Food Pairing Ideas: You know what I’d like to eat with this? Enchiladas. And given the crisp, autumn air out there, I’d go with chipotle squash enchiladas.

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Luzdivina Mencia

I know we’ve got some Malbec & Cabernet Franc fans in the Club, so I thought you might like to check out Spanish Mencia. People used to think Mencia was a direct relative of Cabernet Franc due to similarities in aroma between the two grapes (spicy, peppery notes dominate both wines), but it turns out that assumption was incorrect (thanks, DNA testing!). It has a luscious & bold texture in common with Malbec. And so, I present Mencia to you, the best of both worlds!

Food Pairing Ideas: Like Malbec, this would get along swimmingly with roasted meats. But it’s also got some high acidity, so don’t be afraid to pair it with a simple pasta & tomato sauce. My favorite tomato sauce recipe is Marcella Hazan’s, made with copious amounts of butter, a sure way to my heart. Here is a recipe, from the blog of Orangette (a Seattle-based food blogger that I like).

*Wines with an asterisk are part of the 4 bottle Club. Email me if you would like to order a bottle for yourself. 

 

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