Diva: noun de – və:
1) The term used to describe a woman of outstanding talent in the world.
Wine Diva: noun wīn de və:
1) A woman at the forefront of knowledge of wine.
2) Mary Caprino Tedeschi, a restaurant owner and wine enthusiast.
Your Orlando wine diva here, with another article about one of my true passions. So you know, I am not a sommelier, I have learned everything I know about wine from drinking it. I grew up in the restaurant and bar business as a child in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania,I love food, and ever since I was old enough to drink, I have loved wine!. Just like everyone else in the world, I started with White Zinfandel, went to Riesling, Pinot Grigio and eventually graduated to huge Cabernets, Brunello’s that take every ounce of moisture from your mouth and enormous Red Zinfandel’s. I love tasting people on new wines, you can’t know if you like it unless you try it, right?
I am loving Spanish wines right now. Spain is a world class producer of wines, both in quality and quantity. Better known are the quality reds from Rioja and Ribera del Duero, reds and whites from Penedés, fine whites from Rueda, “sherries” from Jerez, and a fine sparkling wine known as cava.
Wines that bear the names Bodegas Alconde and Viña Sardasol are made from grapes grown on the Estate located in the heart of Lerín Valley, in Navarra, a land which for almost three centuries (1234 to 1512), was a kingdom powerful enough to count a large section of south western France, including Bordeaux, in its dominions. Were it not for the international fame brought to this region by Ernest Hemingway in his writings in the 1920s, and years later by James A. Michener, Navarra may not have been discovered by outsiders at all, despite its rich wine making tradition, which dates back at least 2,000 years, as evidenced by the remains of a Roman winery excavated at the village of Funes in southern Navarra.
The region from which a wine is produced is known as its appellation. The appellation of Navarra is probably best known for the city of Pamplona and the running of the bulls during the Basque festival of San Fermín. But it is also well known for the tremendous food and wine in the region. The Basque people place an enormous amount of importance on what they eat and drink. The tempranillo and garnacha grapes are native to the region and have been used to produce wine for many generations. This level of maturity in the vines helps explain the high quality of the wines.
Generations ago there were many small, family run wineries in the region. In 1956, several of these joined together to form what is now the Bodegas Alconde winery, Viña Sardasol is simply an additional brand name used by the winery. Fourth generation wine makers are producing award winning wines, both in the classic “Old World” tradition as well as the ever more popular “New World” style. Whichever style you prefer, rest assured you are getting the true Taste of Spain in every bottle.
Bodega Alconde Seleccion Garnacha Reserva is produced from carefully hand-picked grapes. This wine has soft elegant tanins,intense black cherry color, and rich red fruit, roasted coffee, and spice on the nose. The complex flavor is very well balanced with a fruity persistent long finish. They use new world style aging, 18 months in dark charred French Allier oak and 18 months in the bottle. This blend of Cabernet, Merlot, 85% Garnacha , which is the same grape grown in Italy called cannonau, and in France Grenache. I enjoyed this wine with a Delmonico steak, this was defiantly a marriage in the mouth. Garnacha will also compliment stews, grilled foods, and game, like duck.
The BODEGAS ALCONDE SELECCIÓN TEMPRANILLO RESERVA is another well balanced wine that has been allowed to mature to perfection. Aging for 18 months in Oak barrels, and then for an additional 18 months in bottle, leaves this wine with a deep garnet color, with flavors of black cherry and charred oak, with subtle hints of balsamic. Like many wines from this region, pairing with steaks, pork or game would be my recommendation.
As always this is just the beginning of what Spain has to offer, with their old world style of wine making. Remember, good wine does not need to be expensive, expensive wine is not necessarily good, and the one true test of a wine is this – take a sip, and see if you love it.