Okay, I'll admit it - I was rooting for Spain in Sunday's World Cup final. Not that I had a dog in this fight, but when it comes down to a wine country versus a beer country, well, I know where my allegiance lies. So yes, I was happy with the result.
I was even happier with the wines I chose to enjoy while watching the match and celebrating the result.
Tierra de Fernandez Gomez, 2009 Rioja Rosado, (Elite Wines of Lorton, Va., sample, $NA but probably not expensive) - crisp and refreshing strawberry and watermelon flavors. This wine is produced by Agricola la Bastida, which makes some tremendous wines that are setting the stage for Rioja's next wave.
Las Colinas del Ebro, Garnacha Blanca 2009, (Grapes of Spain, also Lorton, Va., sample, $12). A terrific little white, crisp and citrusy, ideal for an aperitif or with light, herby seafood appetizers - think Mediterranean ...
Almira, Los Dos, Grenache + Syrah, "Old Vines" 2008, (Winebow, sample, $NA but probably not expensive). This wine from Campo de Borja, Spain's trendy new cheap wine factory, is juicy and spicy and oh so nice for an inexpensive red. Though I rather wish the marketers had let the winery call the wine Garnacha + Syrah, because consumers are smart enough to realize Spain might have a different name for the grape than France does. Not to mention a different expression of the grape, something rather ..... Spanish?
Luna Beberide, "Finca la Cuesta," 2008, Bierzo, (Grapes of Spain, sample, $22). I LOVE this Bierzo producer, which offers a range of wines that shine for quality to price ratio in a region of northwestern Spain that is only now getting some cachet. This wine is a little awkward at first, but it opens nicely - and quite quickly - to sumptuous black fruit (cherries and plums), under a pronounced though not overwhelming oak treatment.