This week’s “Wednesday night sausage wine” is a real crowd pleaser – the super value Mesta Tempranillo from Castilla-La Mancha.
This week’s Wednesday Night Sausage Wine has been inspired in part by Matt Hancock. A few weeks ago, the Secretary of State for Health announced that “lavish” summer holidays probably wouldn’t be possible this year. I do like to go to Spain 2 or 3 times a year and, although I never really think of these trips as particularly lavish as such, at present they do seem to be a bit of a pipe-dream. The Spanish have a word called “duende” which means a sort of spirit of passion, probably best characterised by the tradition of Flamenco. So how am I going to fulfil my Hispanic desires and get a touch of duende in my life during these locked down times? Spanish wine that’s how and this week’s Wednesday Night Sausage Wine fits the bill perfectly. It’s an organic (and vegan) Tempranillo from Castilla-La Mancha, specifically an area called Uclés which is about 65 miles south east of Madrid on the way to Valencia.
In the last 30 years Spain has gone through a real revolution in its wine industry. For thousands of years wine has been produced throughout Spain but it was, until relatively recently, only the wines from the region of Rioja that had a broad international appeal. The majority of wines from other little-known areas were, to put it politely, best termed “rustic”. In the last 20 to 30 years though, the quality throughout the country has soared, particularly the wines of these lesser known regions, such as Uclés, and it is these that currently offer some of the best value wines around.
Our Wednesday Night Sausage Wine, the Mesta Tempranillo, is a very good example of the value to be had from these wines of the less fashionable regions. Jesus Cantarero, the man behind this wine, really tries to bring out the freshness and purity of the fruit. The grapes are grown at a reasonably high altitude (700-900 metres) to maintain their freshness, no chemicals are used in order to enhance the purity and no oak is used to emphasise the bright nature of the grapes. This really does translate itself to the wine. The Mesta Tempranillo has delightful aromas of red berries with a rosemary herb inflection. It has an elegant minerality and a finely grained texture in the mouth. Tempranillo is a pretty versatile wine with food. This wine would be good with grilled meats, especially lamb, various tapas, chilli and, of course, good quality sausages! We had it with lamb and coriander burgers and it was delicious.
Wine has many beguiling and delightful qualities but one of its great talents, which is so appreciated and useful in these times, is to bring a taste of the outside world to our homes. This is especially evident in those wines, such as the Mesta Tempranillo, which really reflect their origins. So, get your tapas ready or your grilled lamb, put on The Gypsy Kings, open the Mesta Tempranillo and get some duende in your life! Enjoy Spain and enjoy your Miercoles Noche Vino de salchicha! and another positive – we don’t have to spend any time in an awful airport terminal. Olé!
Keep well, stay safe.