22 Dec 2010

A Salty German and a Tasty Argentinean

Argentinian, or Argentinean? Who knows. Not Argentine though I don't think, somehow has a bit of a jolly hockey sticks, British Empire, Major-from-Fawlty Towers ring to it. But I'd happily be corrected - answers on a postcard. Anyway a couple of very nice - and affordable - wines this week, both worthy of mention.

 First of all, The Naked Grape Riesling 2009, from Pfalz in Germany. Really clean and fresh, slightly salty like a cool sea breeze. I had it with a simple bowl of pasta, stirred through with flakes of smoked trout, a sliced fat clove of garlic, some fresh chilli and a good glug of olive oil. It went together nicely, although I reckon it'd be even better for washing down some really good fish and chips at the seaside, somewhere like Whitby. The zingy saltiness of the slightly off-dry wine mingling with the seaside tastes and smells. Maybe not in this weather though.

Whitby © bbc.co.uk

The riesling was earlier in the week. Tonight fancied a red, and we'd stuck a pizza in the oven, so I reached for this Santa Julia Bonarda Sangiovese 2009, from Mendoza in Argentina. Bonarda and Sangiovese are originally Italian grape varieties, so there's a good fresh acidity to it that you often get in Italian reds, with notes of lighter fruits like strawberries and cherries, but complemented by a little bit of South American oomph and a slight pepperiness to the aroma. A good bridge between Old World and New. Not overly complex, but a really moreish wine, and with a relatively low 13.5%abv (for a New World red) and it's very food-friendly too. Recommended.

I bought both of these wines from Waitrose: the Naked Grape is currently on offer for a bargain £5.69 and I think the Santa Julia is also a very good buy at the slightly random price of £7.11.

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