Friday, September 20, 2019

My Recent Love Affair

April 7, 2010 by  
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My Recent Love Affair

My Recent Love Affair

(For: AquaCabana Magazine)

The best part of my job running a wine bar, besides meeting some of the coolest people in Vegas, is tasting wines from all over the world. Every week I discover a new wine that has me shouting from the rooftops, “This is the new wine love of my life!” Then the next week my recent love affair is forgotten in the wake of another new wine that wins my affection. As of late, I find myself more and more falling into the arms of Spanish wines, whose seduction is subtle and echoes an old world charm. Spain has over 29 million acres of vines and is the third largest nation, in terms of wine production. Those 29 acres are planted with over 600 varieties of grapes. Wow! I could explore Spain for years, falling in love again and again, and still never try all the wines they have to offer. As you may know about me, I am certainly willing to give it a try. The good news is Spanish wines can also be very affordable, so drink as many as you can find in your quest for wines. My recent exploration has led me to two love affairs I feel are worthy of mention.

The first wine is Bodegas La Cartuja Priorat 2008. Priorat is a county in Catalonia, Spain whose red wines are traditionally 100% Garnacha or a blend which can only include Garnacha, Carinena, Cabernet, Merlot and Syrah. La Cartuja is a blend of all but the Carinena. I had been curious about the wine and was looking forward to my first taste. The color was bright red with violet around the edges. My nose was tickled with cherry and herbs, which as I took a sip, became more distinct with black cherry, sage and minerals. The finish was a little dry but left my mouth juicy like a nice long kiss. I am no expert on typical Priorat wines, but I was easily wooed by this little gem.

Just when I was heading to the rooftops, another Spanish wine made its way into my glass and piqued my palate’s interest – Abadia Retuerta Rivola Sardon de Duero 2007. Abadia Retuerta is a relatively new winery located in Sardon de Duero in Northern Spain. Winemaker Pascal Delbeck has a reputation for critically acclaimed red wines. Rivola is comprised of sixty percent Tempranillo and forty percent Cabernet, and it was love at first taste. The brick red color caught my eye as my nose picked up cinnamon, clove and strawberry. The first sip was plum and berry cobbler with a touch of pepper finishing smooth and supple. The complexity of flavors was a pleasure and I took my time slowly enjoying every drop. Lo and behold I found myself in love with two very different wines.

Lucky for me, wine does not mirror life, so I didn’t have to choose one love affair over the other, and neither do you! And don’t be scared of fancy labels or words you can’t pronounce. If a gorgeous Spanish man was whispering in your ear and you didn’t understand a word, would it be any less effective? Such is the pleasure of wine. So test the waters and risk falling in love over and over if that is what it takes to find wines that you adore. Cheers!

Reprinted with permission from AquaC Green Publishing and Aqua Cabana Magazine


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  1. […] 2010 I had the pleasure of writing an article called My Recent Love Affair, which explored my blossoming infatuation with Spanish wines. Well that small crush continues to […]