Besides eating rice and becoming a pastry chef, I found plenty of time to drink vino tinto — red wine — while in Spain. In fact, I must have consumed an entire case of the winery Castillo de Mendoza's Viña Vitaran Rioja Tempranillo. Poured as the house wine at my friend Paco's restaurant, this smooth red is incredibly drinkable. It has a dark ruby color and subtle flavors of cherry and vanilla. I paired it with everything from cheese to salad to meatballs, making it a versatile, useful red. If you are looking to sip a Spanish wine, or hoping to try a new varietal, I highly recommend giving this wine a taste.
Jan 16 2008