Wine has been praised as the nectar of the Gods and throughout history is intertwined in the classics. Shakespeare, Rumi and Ernest Hemingway among others have stories, poems, and quotes extolling its virtues.
“Wine is constant proof that God loves us and loves to see us happy” – Benjamin Franklin
Not all of us like wine. I am one that does and over the years I am beginning to notice and enjoy the subtle differences from various parts of the world. I am no wine connoisseur however I know what I like. I am a red person myself. White wine does not agree with my palate. The only whites I do prefer are of the champagne variety and the odd blush wine.
My taste buds tend to seek the reds, not the sweet ones but the nice full bodied wines. The full-bodied wines tend to have a higher alcohol content usually above 13.5%. One of my favorites is Chianti, the old-world wine from Italy. Chianti has to be produced in the Chianti region to be called so. It is a dry red and there are two varieties. Chianti and Chianti Classico. The difference between the two is that the latter is more refined and a higher quality. Both versions are very earthy and rustic and leave your mouth dry due to the tannins. Even though red wines go well with meats, Chiantis can be consumed with pizza, pasta or simply some french-fries.
My other favorite wine from the old world is Spain’s Rioja. It is similar to Cabernet Sauvignon, so if you like Cabernet you will like Rioja for sure. It’s a blended wine with Tempranillo grapes being the dominant in composition. The Tempranillo grape has been used by Spain to make wine for over 2,000 years, and thus the Spaniards are very proud of this grape and wines that are derived from it. Whereas, other countries took grapes from Italy and France to cultivate their own wines, Tempranillo was born in Spain.
Even though Bordeaux and Burgundy are what we hear about most, the Rioja can stand should-to-shoulder with these two heavyweights. So, whether its Jamon Serrano, Chorizo or Paella that takes your fancy a lovely glass of Rioja will complement them beautifully.
These are two reds that I love to drink, there are many others out there especially from the New World. So why not get yourself down to your local wine shop and uncork a red or two.
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