We don’t ordinarily cover topics like this in our Bambu Batu blog, but seeing how it is an issue of some local interest, and as one of our customers from out of the area had requested more details, I decided to go ahead and share my thoughts with the rest of the cyber globe.
Central Coast Wines in downtown SLO announced this week in its newsletter a special offer on the Opera Prima ’08 Tempranillo. At just $7 a bottle, this Spanish import not surprisingly raised a few eyebrows. I generally prefer to buy local when possible, but when it comes to culinary endeavors, I’m always eager to stray off the well-worn vineyard, so I picked up a bottle this evening, and these are my thoughts on the subject.
As I probed for a little background or perhaps a short forecast of what to expect from the bargain bottle, the clerk in the wine shop gave the impression that he would never touch a $7 bottle of wine with a ten-foot espada, but that if he were forced at gun point to drink such an unsavory libation, this is the one he would chose. I was sold.
The 2008 Opera Prima Tempranillo, bottled in La Mancha Spain by J. Garcia Carrion, does indeed deliver everything you could ask for and more from a $7 bottle of vino. Light and refreshing, this deeply tinted vintage dances across the palate like a mariposa in heat, at once delicate and provocative, leaving an aria of fruity tenor in its wake. And yet it wields the puissance to knock you down like a proverbial windmill.
The crisp decoction performs superbly on its own, but I can also attest to the fact that it pairs quite nicely with seasonal ratatouille. As a vegetarian, I could never recommend matching this wine with red meat, but I might try ingesting a glass with a plate of fish, because I think that’s what Jesus would do. (San Luis Fish & BBQ on Marsh Street actually has some great local swordfish right now, but that’s a story for another time.)