¡Vamonos a España! Picked this little guy up tonight...
Protocolo 2006 tinto, vino de la tierra de castilla, specifically from Villarta, in the Cuenca province of Castilla-La Mancha.
Did I mention that this wine is CHEAP! Now, I know that value is the PC term, but if I can buy a bottle of wine for under $10 and enjoy it, you can call it whatever you want.
100% Tempranillo from high-altitude vineyards in east-central Spain I have come to find out.
Very pretty ruby color.
On the nose, raspberry right away, with some hints of softer strawberry/cherry. Very bright. Raspberry again on the palette, some spice (typical of tempranillo), mostly black pepper, nothing exotic per se. Nice firm tannins. Medium body. (I am noticing in the picture here that I didn't polish my glass very well)
Two hours after opening, it's drinking beautifully. Strawberries are definitely ripening. There are some minty/herby things going on here as well.
Versatile wine, it would work nicely with chicken, or even salmon, but has enough umph to stand to up to steak (like we had tonight). Next time I might make a nice Coq au Vin, or maybe skirt steak with a red wine deglaze sauce...mmmmmm. In case that sounds good:
Sear both sides of your meat briefly on high heat, then finish it in a 350° oven to desired doneness. Move the meat to a warm plate, and toss some sliced shallots in the pan. Stir them about with a wooden spoon until browned, then pour in about 1/2 cup of your Protocol. Dash of salt, and some twists of fresh ground pepper, reduce heat and allow to reduce. If you want to thicken it a bit, you can mount it with butter (A technique where small pieces of cold, unsalted butter are whisked into a sauce just before serving. Mounting gives sauces texture and flavor as well as a glossy look) or mix a teaspoon of cornstarch and a splash of water, and whisk it into the sauce. Spoon it. Garnish it. Eat it. Take a sip of delicious value-packed Spanish vino tinto. !Viva España! ¡Viva El Rey!