Two of the best things about a trip to Spain are the wine and the tradition of siesta. During the afternoon for a few hours, no matter where you are, the whole town shuts down, looking like a complete ghost town. In the narrow, cobbled streets, you’ll see storekeepers pull down their heavy chained gates and lock their front doors to go home for lunch or sit at the nearby open café to eat tapas and drink wine. Tourists may shake their heads and wonder, “What’s happening?” And when they do find out it is siesta time, they exclaim “Why don’t we have the same tradition at home?”
The good news is that even though we may not be in Spain (that is, for the moment), there’s no reason why we all can’t have our very own siesta. One Spanish Table customer who just spent a week at the Flamenco festival in Jerez mentioned to me the other day that, since his return, each afternoon he likes to have a glass of Spanish wine along with some olives, cheese and a handful of those habit forming little bread sticks called Picos Artesanos de Jerez.
So the next time you see the clock hand hitting 1:00pm, think siesta. (Wait, that’s Siesta! with a capital “S” and exclamation mark). Open up your favorite Spanish Table lemon olives (or anchovy olives, your choice), slice some Manchego cheese and open up a package of Picos Artesanos de Jerez. Most important, pour a glass of your new favorite Spanish Table wine.
May we suggest one of the excellent new wines that have just arrived at The Spanish Table? Check out the first rosado of the season, some new white wine bargains, lots of new red wines from Spain and Argentina, and a few once-in-a-lifetime special bottles that may be perfect for you (details below).
Marques de Caceres Rosado 2006 $10.99 At last! We are very excited to offer this, the first Spanish rosado of the season. This refreshingly dry wine displays pale watermelon color, fresh berry aroma and bright citrus fruit character. Composed of 80% Tempranillo and 20% Garnacha, this is sure to be as well received on your table as it is in our store.
Los Cardos Malbec Rosé 2005 $6.99 The latest addition to our increasingly popular ‘house wine’ section is this Argentine rosado. Made from the local Malbec grape, this gentle pink wine is a perfect back porch cocktail wine. It would also make a fine accompaniment to roast chicken or poached salmon. (don’t forget that all ‘house wine’ selections are $5.99 each when purchased by the case.)
Tiera Brisa Malbec $8.99 We keep finding delicious and well priced wines from Argentina. This one is ripe and concentrated, yet retains a youthful freshness that makes it versatile and easy to pair with a wide range of foods.
Navarro Correas Cabernet Sauvignon 2004 $14.99 This hearty red wine attracted our attention for several reasons. For starters, it displays abundant black pepper aroma and dark berry fruit along with well integrated tannins. Also, we have tasted many excellent Argentine wines made from Cabernet Sauvignon lately and this one offers ample pleasure at a great price. Finally, our newest Employee, Jehan, lived in Argentina for many years and this wine reminded him of home.
Cuatro Pasos Mencía 2004 $13.99 When we tried this for the first time at a trade tasting, we knew it would be a perfect match for our store and our customers. We love D.O. Bierzo wines made from the local mencía grape. This one is youthful and tart, with autumn leaf aroma and bold fruit character. Dry grape skin tannins hold the fruit in check. A great wine for serving with poultry.
Son Bordils Negre 2003 $27.99 We love Mediterranean island wines. This one comes from Mallorca and has a wild brambly character that pairs so well with any food made with fresh rosemary, thyme, sage or any other fresh herb. Serve this concentrated, spicy blend of 40% Merlot, 25% Manto Negro (indigenous Mallorcan grape), 10% Cabernet Franc and 5% Syrah with rosemary and garlic pork loin or roast chicken stuffed with fresh herbs and lemon.
Condesa de Leganza Sauvignon Blanc 2005 $10.99 The red version of Condesa de Leganza has been a trusted staff and customer favorite here, but for one reason or another we never got around to trying the Condesa de Leganza blanco, made from Sauvignon Blanc. When we did try it we exclaimed “Boy, this is tasty!” Lovers of Sauvignon Blanc from other countries will not be disappointed by this bright, lemony wine with hints of orange blossom and green grass. As the weather warms up this will be a popular picnic and garden party wine.
Yasa Blanco 2005 $10.99 Yasa is a cooperative winery in the Calatayud region of northern Spain. Since they are known primarily for red wines, we were pleasantly surprised by this young, fresh white wine from the same producer. Yasa Blanco is made from 100% old vine Macabeo (50 years of age or more) planted at high altitude. This clean, crisp and fresh fruit-driven wine displays ripe tropical fruit aromas, rich flavors and a long lasting finish.
Viña Godeval 2005 $17.99 This perennial favorite is back in the new vintage. Viña Godeval is made in D.O. Valdeorras from Godello grapes. A few years ago this was the only Godello wine we could find. The situation has improved considerably (we now have 4 or 5 Godello wines at any given moment) but this will always hold a place in our heart as a pioneering wine from a little known region. Pale yellow color and gentle aromas of honeydew melon and Meyer lemon meet restrained flavors of white peach and quince.
Vega Sicilia Único 1981 $300.00 What can I say about Vega Sicilia that has not already been said? The most famous wine in Spain? Yes, indeed. Very rare and expensive? You bet. One of the great wines of the world? Absolutely, and we just got one bottle of the 1981 vintage that is composed of 65% Tempranillo, 25% Cabernet Sauvignon and 10% blended Merlot and Malbec. Aged for over seven years in French oak and ten years in the bottle before release, this is a wine with great longevity and pedigree. Drink it now or put it away for some point in the distant future when you may need a life changing experience.
Sastre Regina Vides 1998 $99.00 The previous importer of this rare and stunning D.O. Ribera del Duero wine found a few bottles hiding in a corner of their warehouse, and we happily picked up 6 bottles for our store. Robert Parker rated this wine at 92 points saying, “100% Tempranillo produced from 80-year old vines with yields of 20 hectoliters per hectare. It is an impressive, opaque purple-colored, full-bodied, opulently textured effort with abundant quantities of sweet, toasty oak, blackberry and cassis fruit, and a long, concentrated, powerful finish. It will drink well for 10-15 years.” These days, this wine normally sells for around $140.00, but we are being all 20th century about it and pricing this beauty like its still 1999.