Hey fellow lushes! Pulled a 1991 Cabernet Sauvignon out of my "cellar" the other day to celebrate a very special 21st birthday and -- crap-a-doodle-do! -- it was over the hill.
Hey, I'm not blaming the winemaker or the cork, which crumbled when screwed. The Wino takes full responsibility for not taking better care of this fine old wine. Hell, it made two cross-country moves in its lifetime and, no doubt, did not care much for the heat in Memphis. Still, I had some high hopes that it would be old and magical... like Dumbledore in that last Harry Potter movie... until I took that first whiff. Uh-oh. Vinegar. (The wine, not the wizard!)
Loads of seasoned wine snobs will natter on and on about the pleasures of "laying wine down", giving it time for tannins to smooth and become voluptuous. Hubba hubba! Over time, complex flavors develop. Still, that's a tough sell in our instant gratification world. I want my wine RIGHT NOW damnit!!
Fortunately, I've found some fine middle ground. And they pay for parking, too.
I could spend hours wandering around The Spanish Table, shopping for spices and cured pork and paella pans and Papas Brava sauce. Oh, and get a load of all that wine! Holy smoked paprika mackerel!
There's so much stuff on the shelves that you'll never see anywhere else and lemme tell you what's so great about wines from Spain: Those suckers arrive to the market with a little bit of age already on them. It's possible to pick up a 2008 for under $15. Or blow a wad on a Rioja that was made more than 10 years ago. Si, there are 2001 wines at The Spanish Table.
Don't be shy about asking the smart staff for suggestions, especially when it comes to obscure regions. They just might whip out a big ol' map to show you where it's at, baby. This geographically impaired cat appreciates that! Most everybody knows about Rioja, but after studying that map, I can picture the mountainous region known as Priorat, famous for reds with mineral-y goodness. Mmm, flint-y.
Oh, and spend $35 in the store -- not hard to do -- and they'll validate your parking at the garage just up the hill.