Oh No!  Another wine day.  I don’t know why, but I just can’t resist.  November 14 is Tempranillo Day, and we’re encouraged to open a bottle of wine made from the Tempranillo grape, then share the experience on social media. If you’re curious, just enter #TempranilloDay on Twitter.  We don’t drink Tempranillo all that often, so #TempranilloDay is a great excuse to re-acquaint ourselves with this wine.

A classic Rioja made from Tempranillo (and a bit of Garnacha)

A classic Rioja made from Tempranillo (and a bit of Garnacha)

La Rioja Alta S.A. Viña Ardanza Reserva 2004 ($30 at Sunfish Cellars)
Eye: Clear, brick color with warm almost orange edge.  Barely translucent in the center.
Nose: Lots of barnyard immediately after opening, dissipates after a bit.  Then, earthy, herbal and red fruit.  Maybe a bit of anise.
Mouth: Dry, lively, medium body.  Red fruit, tannins in the long finish.
Very nice wine, especially with food.  Nice that the fruit isn’t the only thing you sense.

A beautiful color in the glass

A beautiful color in the glass

Tempranillo based wines go well with grilled and roasted meats, so dinner featured steak.

Our Tempranillo Day dinner

Our Tempranillo Day dinner

Dinner Details
We made a quick steak marinade of a bit of the La Rioja Alta, a squirt of lemon juice, a teaspoon of honey, and some pepper.  The steak sits on a bed of mashed butternut squash.  We blanched the carrots, cauliflower and broccoli, tossed them in a bit of extra virgin olive oil, then roasted them in a 425 F oven for about 30 minutes.  Last, we caramelized onions and mushrooms, then tossed in the steak marinade after the steak went on the grill.  The reduced marinade on the onions and mushrooms was a great addition!  The steak and all the roasted vegetables were a perfect match for the earthy elements in the Rioja- very nice.

Sirloin steak in a Rioja marinade!

Sirloin steak in a Rioja marinade!


Can’t wait until the next #TempranilloDay

9 Responses to “#TempranilloDay”
  1. waywardwine says:

    Love Ardanza’s wines. Their 2001 was all earth and elegance.

  2. talkavino says:

    La Rioja Alta is one of the best producers, and QPR on their wines is outstanding across the board. Your dinner sounds great!

    • Thanks! I have to admit, we haven’t been drinking many Spanish wines, but that may change. We very much enjoyed the Vina Ardanza.

      • talkavino says:

        Vina Real and Cune Imperial are definitely worth trying. And then Lopez de Heredia is in a league of its own – you should try both red and white Rioja

  3. I’m very excited about a tasting across 6 decades of Vina Real coming up in December – I don’t drink enough Rioja!

  4. Tempranillo is one of my favorites . . . whenever I see a Rioja or Ribera del Duero on WTSO, I’m powerless to resist. Gorgeous pictures, as always!! Salud!!

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