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10.07.2004

WBW2 Roundup: Spanish Reds

Yesterday was Wine Blogging Wednesday #2, and what a day it was, with 21 bloggers from around the globe all drinking wine and writing about it.

The theme for this second incarnation of the wine blogging event pioneered by Lenn Thompson was Spanish Reds, which I selected because Spain is getting a lot of hype lately as the Next Big Thing. I also don't know much about Spanish wine so the opportunity to explore something new that has also been much talked about recently appealed to me.

Robert M. Parker, Jr. the world's most influential wine critic recently made several predictions about the world of wine, and one of them was about the ascendancy of Spain to international prominence: "Look for Spain to continue to soar. Today it is emerging as a leader in wine quality and creativity, combining the finest characteristics of tradition with a modern and progressive winemaking philosophy."

With this sort of press, who could pass up the opportunity to not only personally sample some Spanish wine, but also see what dozens of others might drink and think about, given the opportunity? So without further ado, I bring you:

PARTICIPANTS IN WBW2: SPANISH REDS

Jarret at Life in Flow
I love when people get excited about wine. Jarret was so excited he completed his entry on Monday! He's drinking a Tempranillo from Castilla, and says it's much better in Spanish goblets. Sounded like a good wine and a good value.

Derrick at Obsession with Food
Derrick has chosen a wine from a region of Spain called Carignena that's mostly Grenache. He's also cooked a delicious looking dinner of tapas to pair with it. Thorough review of what sounds like an excellent value.

Sam at Becks & Posh
Sam found a couple of bottles of Tempranillo while shopping at Whole Foods and served it with a (tasty looking) Indian dinner to mixed results, the second bottle being better than the first (which may have been slightly spoiled) but generally mediocre.

Jennifer at Domestic Goddess
Jennifer decided to stick with an old favorite (of hers) a Vin Rouge from Catalunya by producer Renee Barbier. Looks to be a mixed cuvee of grapes that some reviewers online have compared to a light Cotes-du-Rhone.

Zarah at Food&Thoughts
Zarah, our Danish blogging representative and normally a white wine drinker, grabs a couple of bottles of a red blend from Jumilla left over from her boyfriend's recently closed restaurant. The first one is oxidized, but the second turns out to be a pleasant experience.

Lenn at LennDevours
Lenn, the guy who invented WBW, had a bottle tucked away that his wife had brought back from Spain. He posts an interesting review of a Tempranillo that he recommends you skip.

Andy at Spittoon.Biz
Andy opted for a Ribera del Duero from a local UK retailer and found it nicely balanced.

Lina at At Our Table
Lina found a wine from the Toro region at Trader Joes and found it an excellent accompaniment to a steak dinner, as well as a good value.

Gastronomie has also pulled out an old favorite for this event, a Monastrell from Jumilla which sounds like a big hearty wine.

Marta at Slow Travel
Marta brings us a Rioja that starts off difficult but ends up a little better in the end with food.

Alice at My Adventures in The Breadbox
Alice has managed to find another wine from the Toro, this one with a slick, well designed label that I like a lot. It's a Tempranillo as well, and received high marks from her.

Cuisine Capers had some self control issues in the wine store (boy do I know what that's like) and came home with 3 bottles in time to blog about one which I have had before and loved. It's an excellent value and fairly easy to find.

Donna at There's a Chef in My Kitchen
Donna dug up a "modern" Rioja that she raves about and while she didn't use the words "hoard it" that's basically what she's recommending.

Alan at Poke in The Eye
Poor Alan had to search high and low in Hawaii for a Spanish red, and eventually resorted to a trip to the mainland to find what looks like a very nice small production Grenache.

Kate at The Accidental Hedonist
Kate found a Rioja to sample and review, but this morning when I went to check on it, her site was down. Hopefully it will be back up soon!

Kieca and Matt at A Barrel of This
These two decided to review two wines and it sounds like it's a good thing they did, as the first one was awful. (If you're looking for some eloquent ways of saying a wine stinks, look no further). The second one was better, and they even are nice enough to recommend one of their favorites at the end (which ended up being reviewed by Enoch below)

Viv at Seattle Bon Vivant
Like Derrick, Viv made a whole tapas meal out of this event, and thanks to a persuasive wine shop owner ended up blogging about something entirely different than she intended. It's a nice sounding Crianza (blend) from Rioja.

Enoch at Medmusings
Enoch also blogged about two wines, one of which he discovered at a recent tasting we attended together. In a sheer fit of coincidence it also happens to be the favorite Spanish red of Kieca, above -- a Rioja Reserva that was quite good if I remember correctly. Enoch also reviewed a Grenache, but has decided to recommend people not drink it for a good long while, for reasons that will become apparent as you read his post.

Jeanne at Cook Sister!
Jeanne is our South African contingent (via London) and since moving to London she has "discovered the joys of Rioja" but couldn't find any in the cellar, so she ended up with a slightly older Tempranillo from Valdepenas, south of Madrid. Valdepenas means "worth the effort" and it sounds like her wine definitely is.

Josh at The Food Section
Josh ended up with a red blend from Jumilla -- actually the same wine that Zarah tracked down in Denmark, above. Make sure to check out both reviews and see how they compare.

Pim at Chez Pim
Pim must have had a late night of it, but she managed to get an entry done about a Rueda (and a little leftover Verdelho) that she brought along to an Indian/Pakistani dinner. Sounds like it wasn't the best pairing in the world, and we won't say anything about the fact that she was drinking white instead of red.... ;-)

And finally,

Alder at Vinography
I decided to go for a highly rated and slightly more expensive bottle to see what the upper echelon of Rioja tasted like, and after tasting nearly 80 Spanish wines last week, it was without a doubt the best Spanish wine I've ever had. Didn't find it as close to perfect as Robert Parker did, but enjoyed it immensely.

SUMMARY

First of all, I'd like to thank everyone who participated. This was a really fun event and I found it educational as well, knowing as I did, very little about Spanish wine. I'm especially thrilled that we had some participants from Europe. I hope everyone had a great time, and if you didn't get a chance to participate in this one, and want to get in on the next, send myself or Lenn a note. Stay tuned to Lenn's site (or this one) for the announcement of next month's event. Thanks again, and happy drinking!

Comments (11)

10.07.04 at 10:42 AM

Alder,

Thanks for hosting! I note that Pim got an entry up at the last moment: http://chezpim.typepad.com/blogs/2004/10/i_just_found_ou.html

Alder wrote:
10.07.04 at 11:01 AM

Got it. Poor Pim stayed up so late to get it in.

Lenn wrote:
10.07.04 at 11:47 AM

Thanks again for hosting it, Alder. Looks like I'm one of only a few that had bad bottles...and, unfortunately, it was my ONLY bottle.

I guess that means that in subsequent editions I'll have to make sure I have a couple around...what at shame!

EVERYONE--please let me know if you want to host an upcoming vintage of WBW...and stayed tuned for the annoucement of #3...coming VERY soon.

10.07.04 at 12:33 PM

Thank you so much for hosting Alder! This was, yet again, a lot of fun! Here's to many, many more! :-)

Pim wrote:
10.07.04 at 2:43 PM

It must be fun doing the round up. I would've got drunk just to read about it all.

cheers,
Pim
who was having her blonde moment last night..figuratively and literally.

Alder wrote:
10.07.04 at 2:58 PM

The roundup was a blast, but given that it was 9 AM, getting drunk sadly wasn't an option. Maybe I'll go through and re-read them tonight when I finish my bottle.

Kate wrote:
10.07.04 at 3:00 PM

My site's back up! My bad!

10.07.04 at 3:07 PM

Bravo! Now I know exactly what to get... and skip! Can't wait for the next one.

10.07.04 at 6:14 PM

Thanks for hosting ALder.
It was fun to join in.
Makes me want to improve my wine knowledge. I certainly need some education in that department!
I posted an email off to Amy to ask her about an SF foodblogger gathering soon. Since I am
a newbie, it would be an honour to meet everyone.
-sam

robutt wrote:
10.11.04 at 11:39 AM

Hi. I just stumbled across your spanish reds roundup - what a great idea. Oddly enough, our little local wine club did spanish wines on Sunday, October 3rd.
It was a great time and we really enjoyed the 10 or 11 bottles of spanish reds.
the link to our review is the URL field.
cheers.

10.11.04 at 12:18 PM

The Yadkin Valley Appellation in North Carolina is in for WBW3!! My blog at greatncwines.com is growing in popularity, looking forward to integrating such events into our site. Give North Carolina wines a try sometime, it's an up and coming region!

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