Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Winey Tasting Notes: The Winey Daughter Is Going to Spain and a 2009 Sangre de Toro Red

Ten days from now, our high school sophomore will be embarking on a fabulous spring break trip with her Spanish class. Yup, she's heading to Spain. The same trip her older brother took 4 years ago. So it's kind of a rite of passage trip around our house - heading to Europe without parents to learn about a language you have been studying for the past 4 years and claim to hate every time a grammar test comes around.

But something is a little bit different this time. Somehow, when our son got ready to fly off 4 years ago, he didn't need nearly as much "preparation". And by preparation, I mean new clothes. And shoes. We have already spent 2 full days shopping for the right things to wear. There have apparently been discussions with her trip roomie that center on the topic "We have to look awesome in Spain." Let's see, for the boy we bought a guide book, a passport holder and an electric converter. And while our daughter is fine with using her brother's guide book, that "old people" passport holder is not passing muster. And Mom, if the electric converter can't handle a heavy duty curling iron, forget it.

Now, being the red blooded woman that I am, I am totally fine with shopping for new clothes for a trip. But the level of scrutiny and....um....well..I'm just gonna put it out there: pickiness has just about done me in. One more weekend day in a mall and I may do something crazy - like give her a credit card and sit her in front of the computer.

But she IS excited - and we are excited for her. Our son came home loving seafood paella and tapas. He also came home with a sword. We are hoping she likes the food and skips the sword shopping. And unfortunately for me, once again, the teachers have forbidden the kids to buy wine for their Winey Moms while they are on this trip. Dang.
Bacchus The Bull

With thoughts of Spain in the back of my mind, imagine how I laughed (out loud, and yes, I quickly looked around to see who saw me) when I saw a bottle of Sangre de Toro (2009, 13.5%, Catalunya, Spain) on the shelf. How could I miss it - it has a little Spanish bull attached to its neck. And the bull is kind of sporting a 'tude - he's laying on his back, hooves behind head, one leg crossed over the other, just chillin'.  Just couldn't resist him. And as wines (and bulls) go, at $8.99, it/he was a bargain. (No, I've never priced bulls before but work with me on this one, okay?)

This is a red blend - Garnacha (aka Grenache - THE most cultivated grape in the Mediterranean world) and Carinena (a traditional Mediterranean grape). It is a bright dark red - clear red when you swirl it in the light. The aroma was of ripe, dark fruits - cherry especially, oak and a teeny bit of paprika (think Spanish restaurant). The taste was of dark, overripe cherry and plum, warm spices and dirt (a little dirt never hurt anyone in a red wine). The finish was warm and spicy with tannins at the end.

A great Spanish wine to go with any kind of Greek/Spanish/Mediterranean dish. Lamb is one of my faves and I think this would be wonderful with it. Paella, with its spicy warm saffron, is another good choice. Or if you are in a hurry, break out the chips and salsa. You'll be fine.

So cheers to my daughter as she heads off on the trip of a lifetime. I begrudge her none of the clothes or shoes (especially those adorable Sperry Topsiders, which I also fit into). I hope she makes a ton of memories and friends and continues to develop her love of travel and her sense of wonder at the world around her, at home and abroad.

And about that bull. He is so stinking cute. I have named him Bacchus, after the Roman god of wine, who was also known as the "son of the bull". It's not very original - it tells you this on the label. But I've never actually gotten a little animal with a wine purchase. So he's staying in Ohio with me.


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