Happy St. Patrick's Day! Yeah, I know I should be falling down drunk on green beer, but I really haven't been much of a beer drinker since college, though I can open a nice bottle of wine to celebrate! Tonight it's the 2008 Audius Rioja, a lovely tempranillo from Spain that I think has a good chance of pairing well with a traditional Irish dinner.
The wine is lovely garnet color in the glass, with an inky purple near the center. The nose is a fantastic smoky aroma of bright red fruit, cherry, raspberry and red plum over the faintest hints of leather and vanilla. The taste is wonderfully fruit forward with flavors of cherry cola, blackberry and cassis, that easily transition to some spice notes of white pepper midpalate. The tannins are softly structured but they still give nice backbone to the long, smooth and very dry finish.
Overall, I would rate this wine a solid 8, it's a very nice Rioja at a terrific price as I bought this one from Wines Till Sold Out for just $13. Tonight I am enjoying this with, what else? Corned beef and stinky cabbage, along with red potatoes and carrots that have been simmering in the slow cooker since this morning! If you choose not to have beer, I can think of few better wines to go with this Irish fare than a lighter, dry and very fruit forward wine like this. Erin go bragh!