Sometimes it’s really nice to open up a bottle of wine you don’t have to think about. Just uncork, pour, and sip with whatever you’re having, and know it will manage just fine regardless of whether you have a rack of lamb or mac and cheese on your plate.
Naturally, if you go to the trouble and expense of roasting a rack of lamb, you’ll probably spend similar time and money on a wine. So really I’m talking more about the other side of the spectrum: the mac and cheese, tacos, pizza, and similarly cheap, quick, and easy meals. Do you really need to stare at your wine rack, trying to figure out which vintage of cru bourgeoise will match with the Ortega taco sauce? Of course not.
That’s why there are wines such as El Paseo Red, a 100% Tempranillo from the Valencia region of Spain. Its bright and colorful label evokes the same fun and thoughtlessness that’s inside the bottle. Pour it into a glass and you immediately enjoy aromas of plum and jam with hints of earth and spice, followed by a fruit-forward palate filled with red and purple fruit flavors: grape jam, mild earth, black pepper, and overripe / cooked berries. Acidity and tannins are medium, balancing out the fruit. A touch hot with alcohol in the finish, but not so much to be a turn-off. Ripe raspberry and a touch of vanilla spice in the finish. The acid and tannin levels are just enough to make this a good food wine. It will match well with a variety of meats, grilled dishes, simple fare (burgers, mac and cheese, etc.).
Bottom line: it’s a simple red wine at an appropriately low price (about seven or eight bucks, or less). A decent “everyday” table wine, and/or a good choice for adding to sauces, gravies, and marinades. And nothing to think about.
a-6 t-6 b-8 fc-9 v-7 ~ 86 points
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