We return to Spain
for a deliciously original pair from the north east, one from Toro, the other from Rueda, regions which, collectively, are bisected by the road between Zamora
and Vallalodid. The more westerly of these districts is Toro, a rugged place of cold winters and very hot summers producing equally characterful red wines of weight and authority. The grape variety is Tinta de Toro. Have we unearthed a rare, little known, local berry here? Nah, it’s good old Tempranillo with yet another regional name. It does very well here, too, vinified in a utilitarian complex that looks like any anonymous large, out-of-town retail unit from the outside. Inside it gleams with stainless steel and all mod cons and, though you might expect a degree of rural laissez-faire regarding cellar hygiene from the surroundings, actually you could eat off the floor.
This is hearty wine for cold weather comfort or robust cooking outside; it will take on spicy marinades, garlic and rubs and the flavours of the charcoal grill, just as it works well with a slow-cooked braise or stew. Toro borders Rueda, a larger area than the former and, with subtle changes in climate and a tradition largely of growing white wines, it produces some delightfully fresh, leafy examples. The two indigenous varieties grown here are Viura and Verdejo, the latter being regarded as the senior partner with its sappy character providing delicious, individual wines. Although the two are frequently and successfully blended, your May white is a pure Verdejo made without oak which is the usual way here. It’s a versatile glassful: a super aperitif or the perfect partner to a Caesar salad; just the job with fish and lovely with a chicken sandwich with a splurge of curry mayo. Seasonal tip… Try with asparagus, it’s a great match!
Price per bottle: £6.95
Punchy red of warmth and youthful vigour with plenty of nicely rustic character and
aromas of baked plums with a touch of spice.
Price per bottle: £7.25
Crisply green, grassy fruit provides zingy freshness and nettley scents remind us of
Sauvignon plus a note of grapefruit citrus.
For the last few years we have put out a selection of wines which, with a little help from a supplier and by reducing our margin, allows us to make a donation of £5 per every 6-pack purchased to charity. Our
chosen charity remains the Cancer Campaign in Suffolk
which provides support to cancer patients and
their families. What they raise in Suffolk
stays in Suffolk
- it is a truly local charity dealing with a disease that, sadly, touches most of us in one way or another. When you need a few bottles - and you might with the various bank holidays coming up - please consider this half-case. Just by steering your purchase in this direction you can do a tremendous amount of good.