Wednesday, October 06, 2004

WBW2 Spanish Red Wine

World Wine Blogging Wednesday # 2, Spanish Red Wine.

Hmmm. I am not sure what possessed me. For some reason I volunteered to be a part of WBW2 being hosted over at Vinography. It seemed like a good idea beforehand. But when I actually tried to do it, I found that the confidence I have for writing about food, certainly does not extend to writing about wine.

I did some research beforehand. I had a friend coming round for dinner. An Indian-style menu was planned so I looked on the web to try and find out which Spanish Reds would best partner spicy Indian food. The answer that came up the most was Tempranillo. I had meant to go to a proper wine shop and ask advice, but I had to work the weekend which meant a one-stop food and wine shop at Wholefoods. The only labelled Tempranillo they had was a $5.99 bottle of Penasol, so my decision was made for me. I was eyeing the $30+ bottles of Rioja (I absolutely love Rioja, which I think is made from Tempranillo anyhow?), but was determined to stick with the original plan. I wanted it to say "Tempranillo" on the label. The low price meant I could buy a couple of bottles and not damage my bank balance too badly. Also, I was nervous about serving a Red with Indian food and, therefore, didn't want to experiment with too fine a wine.
I prepped the food on Monday night. When I arrived home on Tuesday evening I opened one of the bottles of Penasol to breathe whilst I continued the cooking. I studied the cork. It didn't smell that great. A little musty and garbage-like. It was a very pretty looking cork though.
Click on the picture to enlarge.

My guest arrived. I insisted she help me with the wine tasting no sooner than she's walked through the door. Before I'd even poured her glass I was shoving the cork up her nose, asking her what she thought it smelt like. "Umm", she said, "it smells of smoke". I grabbed the cork back off of her, puzzled, thinking there was something I'd missed during my previous nasal investigation. I had another sniff. The scent of "smoke" did not speak to me, I was confused. I pondered a while and then, suddenly, I cleared things in my mind. "Did you have a cigarette on the way here?" I asked her. "Err, yes", she hesitatingly replied. "Duh! - no wonder the cork smells of smoke!"

On to the tasting. Comments from my guest and Fred. "It tastes oxidized, it's too sharp". We were disappointed, none of us warmed to this 2003 bottle of wine.

Nevertheless, we kept on drinking. We had dinner to consider, maybe it would taste better, washing down a plateful of spicy food.

Spicy Lamb

Click on the picture to enlarge.

Tarka Dhal
Click on the picture to enlarge.

Both of these recipes were adapted from ones found in Healthy Indian Cooking

We all agreed, the second bottle tasted better. Maybe the inebriating effects of the first had started to cloud our judgment? It certainly felt smoother on the tongue and seemed to perk up a lot when matched with the spicy, flavoursome Indian food.

I wouldn't buy this wine again. It's mediocre at best. I did a web search to try and find out more about this bottle of plonk, but all the results that showed up were unfortunately not written in English.

WBW2 Spanish Red Wine


  • At 6/10/04 14:24, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    sigh... how come all the parties are grouped together when I'm working...


  • At 6/10/04 15:09, Blogger Sam said…

    Hey - at least you got the doggy bag!
    when do you finish your project. I might be having a poached haddock moment soon and it would be a shame for you to miss out again...

  • At 4/7/06 14:07, Blogger Ken said…

    Wow...just opened this bottle. I, too, bought the bottle at Wholefoods for 5.99. I have to say that our bottle isn't all that bad. I was looking for reviews online, and came across yours. Thanks for the reveiw. I agree, but I think the 2 extra years has done the bottle good. It had a pretty sharp nose at first, but went down a bit easier. Perhaps I was expecting the worst, and got a little better, so I am happy. I wouldn't buy it again, though, either. I agree with your conclusion on this wine.


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