Beronia 2006 Reserva riojaThere is Rioja and there is RIOJA(!) - the best evokes life correcting pleasures and the worst… (well we'll leave that aside).

This Beronia 06 reserva has everything I love about this region that has become as iconic as Flamenco guitar from the south or Gaudi's architectural manifestations in Barcelona.

The 18 months in French and American oak barrels give it a deep opening aroma of tobacco, leather and liquorice. It's a combination so autumnal that I can't stop sniffing.  But be patient and leave it for a while (or like me, drink this glass and look busy for 20 minutes before returning for more).  On the second round the wine has opened up with the air doing it's job, oxidising the wine, giving it curves in the form of sweetness.  The fruit of cherries and dark berries start coming through.  A complex of integrated flavour make the wine a really well made playmate for pleasure.

Top Tip: Drink alone - chatting is a distraction.

Beronia, Rioja 2006 Reserva

Approx. £9.99 from: Waitrose Wine & Wine direct


Follow us on social media:

Secret Sommelier on TwitterSecret Sommelier on Instagramfacebook 001linkedin 001youtube 001

As COVID-19 conspires with the grimmest of winds and rain to force a societal retreat behind our own front doors, the word ennui springs to mind. The muddle of displeasure is pierced when Natalia hands me a large bulbous glass of a liquid I do not recognise.



Britain’s lamentable exit

On the eve of Britain’s official departure from the EU, my partner and I decided to explore a small town on the Italian Riviera where thewintry cold doesn’t feel so much like cold war bite.

I had warned my significant other that I would be having an inverse departure party, a release of the sanity valve if you like!


Sitting inside the ancient castle walls inside the town of Soave, a short drive from Verona in northern Italy, the unique slightly almond aroma of the indigenous grape, Garganega, rises gently from my glass. The castle sprawls up the side of an extinct volcano that gives the region its variant soil structures that mark out the better quality of Soave wines.


Tanisha Townsend decided to move to Paris 4 years ago after regularly passing through the city en route to the world’s most famous vineyards. In fact, it was about 2 years ago at the Printemps de Champagne Bouzy Rouge tasting in Reims that I saw (who we shall now refer to as) GirlMeetsGlass chirpily speaking to her web followers on Snapchat.


The cathedral in Santiago de Compostela, the final resting place of Saint James, rises out of the landscape, infested with antiquity. The rambling steep streets give way to shafts of dramatic light, emblazoned chapels, and tightly packed tapas bars, dusty, as old novels pressed together in antiquarian bookshops.


Driving into the Entre-Deux-Mers region from the north, the vineyards roll out like a bright green deep-pile carpet across the undulating land. It’s hard not to be excited about tasting wines with so much heritage, as we head to Chateau-Sainte-Marie to meet with 5th generation owner, Stéphane Dupuch. 


We use cookies to improve our website and your experience when using it. Cookies used for the essential operation of this site have already been set. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, see our privacy policy.

  I accept cookies from this site.
EU Cookie Directive plugin by