Looking back, 2009 wasn’t all that bad despite the doom and gloom on the economic forecast, and 2010 already promises to be full of good things, at least when it comes to swirling and sipping. I’ll keep you updated on that, but in the meantime, and bearing in mind that many of you are probably on January detoxes, and others tightening their purse strings after the Christmas holidays, I thought I’d take a look at mainstream, supermarket wines.
Unlike supermarkets in Britain or the US, Spanish supermarkets tend to have a dearth of decent wine. If you’re going that route, it helps to have a few pointers in mind e.g. a reliable, upmarket region like Ribero del Duero will generally get you a better wine at supermarket level, as will tried and trusted brands like Torres. After all there’s a good reason they are the biggest producer in Spain, and even if, like me, your natural inclination is to support the small producer, they do have some some great wines in the higher end of their portfolio.
Today however, I’m looking at the bottom end of the market, specifically their cheap, day-to-day quaffers. In this case I’m talking Tres Torres (less than €4), which won’t win any wine awards per se, though it did pick up first place on the Drinks Business Magazine green list for minimizing environmental impact.
In the glass it’s not wildly pretty, a brackish red with rusty halos and quite a sharp nose. This wine will definitely benefit from being open a while before drinking it. Look for Mediterranean herbs rather than fruit, and a fairly peppery mouth with hints of licorice. There’s also lots of tannin, which verges on cheek-sucking, but does give structure to what would otherwise be a fairly insipid wine. Put it with rich, winter stews and it will come into its own (as will it if you make it the base of a wine based beef stew). For the price it’ll jazz up a mid-week supper a treat. Salut, and here’s to a most excellent 2010.