I put the sausage and lean hamburgers on the grill. The heat was near 550 degrees. The Wine Goddess had already pre-boiled the sausage, turning it tender and sweet. As an accompaniment, she was frying red and green garden peppers and onions on the stove. These were going to be better than the SP&O bombs sold at Fenway.
The guests, assembled on the deck, took in all the savory smells. “What kind of wine are we having?” came an inquiry from the peanut gallery.
“A nice surprise from Spain,” I replied.
The Tempranillo grape is one of my new favorites. A year ago, I couldn’t even pronounce it. Now I can’t get enough of it, especially at the value price of this one. Textbook Tempranillo makes for a big juicy, flavorful grape wine that is abundant in ripe, spicy cherry and covers the mouth like a plush rug.
Where Cabernet Sauvignon is the choice for thick, heavy meat dishes, Tempranillo pairs well with lighter and medium meats, from burgers to sausage to Italian meatballs covered in tomato sauce. Grilling actually intensifies the aromas and flavors of the meat, so it is good to select a wine aged in new oak or charred oak barrels that replicate the flavor of the grilling. Tempranillo fits all the characteristics. Needless to say, this bottling proved a winner with my BBQ.
The following is a review I wrote in the August 8 edition of WhatdoUwannado.com magazine published in The Sun.
No. 7: Flaco Tempranillo, Spain, $6.49 — When I think of No. 7, New York Yankees great Mickey Mantle comes to mind for all the damage he did to my beloved Red Sox when I was growing up as a kid. What better buy to wear No. 7 in our bargain case than a little known wine from Madrid? It’s a grand salami, as Tony the Butcher used to say. The Tempranillo grape is thick and makes for a wonderful lush, garnet colored wine with fine tannic structure. I was amazed by the quality of this bottling at this price. I felt a burst of cherry and plum when it first hit my mouth and then a nice kick of green pepper and spice. The finish was smooth, dry and measured. Guests who tried this at a recent BBQ pegged the price at $20 a bottle, and flipped out when I told them it costs less than a coffee and breakfast sandwich at McDonald’s.