- Published: 05 September 2019 05 September 2019
Delving deep into the shelves of my local Laithwaite’s merchant in Borough Market, London Bridge, I found a trove of unusual Spanish wines and that evening enjoyed this Marqués de Valdecañas Gran Reserva 2012, Cariñena DO.
An unusual wine with elegant rose petal aromas straight away, followed by an evolving concentrated red currant and strawberry flavour. For a Gran Reserva this is an amazingly balanced wine with beautiful satin mouthfeel. It is elegant, attractive, and intriguing. The oak contributes to the structure but in no way overpowers the taste.
Cariñena is a small subregion in Aragon, south of Zaragoza and someway west of Priorat. It was first exploited commercially by the Romans and was legally regulated in 1696. Perhaps it is that sense of history and place that good Spanish wine imparts to the aficionado?
When people ask what I love most about Spain, I always reply without hesitating that it is the spirit of the people. This silken wine comprised of Garnacha and Tempranillo captures the spirit of the arid landscape that rises up from the banks of the river Ebro.
There is a grape variety also called Cariñena but surprisingly it only accounts for around 10% of vines in the area. More intrigue?
I sense a trip to Cariñena coming my way. There is obviously so much more to explore. At £12.99 this wine offers an alluring experience for wine lovers at a very agreeable price.
Available online at Laithwaite's
Discord in Odesa; pruning at Shabo goes on!
Last week a picture was posted on Twitter of vines in Shabo, a large estate that lies to the west of Odesa on southern Ukraine’s Black Sea coastline. The image seemed benign at face value but the reality, of course, is that the city of Odesa has been bracing itself for attack by Russian forces.
An aperitif by the coliseum
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.
Artichoke pasta and very fine Pigato
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!
Soave: volcanic wines with elegance and longevity
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.
An American In Paris; Tanisha Townsend (@GirlMeetsGlass) discusses podcasts, Paris wine bars, & what she's drinking at the moment
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.
Wine tasting in Galicia: The pilgrims search for Albarino
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.