I don’t drink a lot of Spanish wine. Spain is one of the few western European countries I have never visited, sadly, and while I hope to remedy that, my two tiny children assure me that it won’t be anytime soon. What I do drink from Spain is typically from a familiar bodega, Lopez de Heredia, and typically quite old, rendering the properties of the Rioja thin, dry, even papery at times. I enjoy Spanish wines, the few I’ve tried, but I don’t often go out of my way to find them. Tonight, when I came home from the grocery story to make tacos for my family for dinner however, I went straight to the cellar and sought out this bottle of Locations E4 that I knew was waiting for me. What better to pair with tacos?
Normally when I make tacos, a skill I credit my friend Mike with having taught through demonstration, I make chicken and some buffalo shrimp. Tonight, with a bit of time on my hands, I thought I’d try something a little different, so I whipped up some pico using fresh lime, tomatoes, onion, cilantro and a little salt, and I seasoned some chorizo, adding egg to it as the primary filling for my tacos. It was pretty good according to Sonja, who would tell me if she felt otherwise, and I enjoyed it as well. Titus munched happily at it, as he does with virtually everything, and Zooey cooed quietly, waiting for her turn to eat. In an increasingly busy time of year, it was gratifying that dinner was relaxing and cathartic once again.
The Locations E5 Spanish wine is also something a little different, and in an equally good way. This wine boasts a distinctly new-world character in that it is a fruit bomb with a relatively high ABV at 14.5%. That said, the the black cherry, raspberry, and tobacco flavors coming from the Spanish varietals in the blend, namely Garnacha, Tempranillo, Monastrell, and Carignan, render it also distinctly Spanish. The juxtaposition of these characteristics from different parts of the world is what one might expect from Dave Phinney, and why so many of us seek out his wines. Silky on the palate, well-structured, and dry, it’s an excellent wine, a killer QPR at under $20, and paired brilliantly with the flavors of pico, chorizo, and corn tortillas. Last night was something a little different, and as I tell so many people, being different is so often a good thing.