Thursday, March 25, 2010

Wine from my collection: Martin Codax Ergo Tempranillo Rioja 2005

My method of wine selection isn't very scientific. Basically it's "What's on sale?" followed by "What looks interesting?", shored up with whatever the salesclerk/wine shop owner recommends. When I lived in Brooklyn, I frequented a neighborhood wine shop that had been there for a couple of generations. The owner knew me (well), and I could walk in and say things like, "I need a mixed case of Italian red, slightly dry, slightly fruity, good structure, nothing over $15." He'd say, "OK," then have the case delivered to my apartment in 20 minutes. Here in San Diego, so far I've been frequenting the exact opposite of that--BevMo, a huge chain store with several locations. In BevMo's defense, they have an excellent selection. And a couple times a year, they have a buy-one-get-the-second-for-five-cents wine sale. So I loaded up, purchasing enough wine all at once to last me most of the rest of the year--using the "What's on sale/What looks interesting?" formula.

I know enough about wine at this point to know what I like, and how to figure out what I'm likely to enjoy from a rack of new-to-me wines. So I have surprisingly few misfires with that method. There are a few wines that I know and love and always circle back to, but it never occurs to me to keep them in stock, since there are so many wines out there I haven't had yet.

This bottle, the Martin Codax Ergo Tempranillo Rioja 2005, was part of the BevMo extravaganza. Retails for $11.99, plus five cents for a second bottle. It's not the greatest tempranillo I've ever had (that honor was reserved for an $80 bottle at Artisanal, though I fear all the great cheese I consumed on that visit completely wiped out the name of the wine from my memory...I think it started with a C), but it's certainly not the worst, and for $12, this is a perfectly serviceable bottle of wine. Goes down easily, holds up well to food, and looks pretty on my counter. Really, you can't ask for much more from a bottle of wine. Oh, I've had the $400-a-bottle wine, and yes, it was transcendent. But you can't be transcendent every night, and you certainly can't expect it from something you're using to wash down leftover red beans and rice.

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