Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Wine of the Month

I realise it’s been a while since I featured a wine of the month. That’s not to say that I haven’t been drinking any nice wines of late; I’ve probably just been too drunk to formulate a coherent recommendation. Anyhow. As I’ve been watching the A Nightmare on Elm Street film series this month, I thought I should stay sober long enough to recommend Raso de la Cruz, a fruity Tempranillo-Cabernet, expertly blended by Marks & Spencer (I'm not fussy, really). And at £6.99 a bottle, it’s cheap and cheerful, too.

A deep-red and fragrant wine, Raso de la Cruz is packed with flavours of morello cherry, crushed black pepper and wild Mediterranean herbs. The distinctly fresh acidity is matched by fine tannins and a lightly spicy finish. In the parched climate of CariƱena, old vines have adapted to survive by digging deep into the soil to reach natural reserves of water. The resulting fruit is highly concentrated, giving vibrant wines which are intensely fruity.

Raso de la Cruz is best served with ‘rustic’ dishes such as paella, pan-fried chorizo, chicken and tomato casserole, or a selection of cold meats and cheeses. Apparently there’s a knack to pairing up wine and cheese; harder types of cheese (Cheddar, Parmesan) work well with tannic wines such as this one: tannins are the various chemical compounds in wine that affect its colour, aging ability and texture. The astringency from the tannins is what causes the dry feeling in the mouth when drinking certain wines. Creamy cheeses (Brie, Manchego) however, usually go better with acidic wines (Chardonnay).

As you know, the A Nightmare on Elm Street films, with their consistent dilution of the menacing figure of Freddy Krueger to a multiplex-friendly buffoon, are increasingly cheesy. This wine works marvellously well with the series, moving from the initial maturity of Craven’s first film, through the unctuousness of Freddy’s Revenge and the acrid, rubbery schlock of the later sequels; all the way to the robust complexity of Wes Craven’s New Nightmare. 

Enjoy. But do so responsibly.


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