Arjona Rioja 2014 Spain DOC 13.5% Clifton Cellars
Tempranillo, Mazuela (5%)
It’s not very often that I am faced with the task of matching wines to food. I love to cook, and have always found that what I cook seems to pair with what I like to drink. A perfect situation really.
I am also of the opinion that in general if you match food with wine it’s a good idea to look for foods in the area that will naturally compliment the wine produced in this area.
Therefore on this cold and February evening I was faced with a dilemma, I had spent the day preparing a Moroccan meal, complete with all the trimmings, I needed a wine that could handle the spiciness of the tagine without sinking beneath the fragrant waves. With the above in mind I pushed the geographical boundaries a little, Spain and North Africa are not a huge distance apart and therefore the wines of Rioja I suspected maybe the way forward.
I am delighted to report that I was correct. Arjona Rioja from Clifton Cellars is perfect, to the eye it has a pale ruby, damson hue, suggesting youth. On the nose it’s spicy, vanilla, and rich dark fruits almost a hint of plum. On the palette the spiciness is rounded with nice integration of the alcohol and the tannin, there is still a hint of vanilla and the richness of the plum is present. It’s light and has a medium finish.
When paired with the tagine the wine rises to the challenge, complementing the spice of the tagine and enhancing the flavours superbly.
A pleasant surprise.
Available from Clifton Cellars
22 The Mall, Bristol, Avon BS8 4DS
Tel – 0117 973 0287