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