A Good Wine For Hard Times

Last month I went to The Co-operative’s spring wine tasting. And one or two of their wines excited me. In particular a Monastrell for £4.99.

Now, it’s important to manage expectations here. If you buy this bottle of 13.5% alcohol by volume wine, £2.64 will have gone on tax. Then there are the bottling, shipping and marketing costs. The actual wine will cost well under a pound. In this case, probably less than a can of Diet Coke.

So you won’t be getting a great wine of staggering complexity for this price. But if you’re lucky, you’ll get a simple but tasty easy-drinking wine  – that doesn’t just taste of fruit jam, alcoholic cordial or nail polish remover.

Wine Review: La Pradera Monastrell 2010 from La Mancha in SpainLa Pradera Monastrell 2010, from Spain, is just that.

A purple-tinged, mid-weight soft but fresh brambly (leaf and berries) wine with a hint of cocoa-nibs and a lightly perfumed undertow. Nice lightly chilled though better, I think, after it had warmed up and sat in my glass for a while. It went quite well with roasted wild Alaskan salmon too. Didn’t clash. Stood its ground.

I was especially chuffed to find it at The Co-op just around the corner from me. At the tasting, we were told which type of stores would stock the wines. This Monastrell would only be available at The Co-operative superstores or market town stores.

I would have said mine – on a street in Shepherd’s Bush, West London – was a convenience store. I contacted The Co-operative via Twitter and then spoke to someone who promised to send me a list of stores where I could find this wine. It never arrived. But lo! The wine did…

I wonder then, come August, if the savoury, spicy Bodegas Francisco Casas Toro Camparron Crianza 2008 for £5.99 will be in my local? Fingers crossed.






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