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Monte Ducay Reserva 2009

by Nannette Eaton on July 5, 2014

“One of the secrets of a happy life is continuous small treats, and if some of these can be inexpensive and quickly procured so much the better.” — Iris Murdoch

monte ducay

Not one to bury the lead, let’s cut to the chase, shall we? This wine is a delicious red wine from Spain for $7 USD at Trader Joe’s. Now, go! Scamper off with your sawbuck and score a bargain bottle of vino.

Spanish wines, in general, are undervalued, which make them a terrific deal for wine drinkers. If you’re not familiar with D.O. Cariñena, it’s a wine region in north eastern Spain in heart of the Ebro Valley, 225 miles west of Barcelona and 180 miles east of Madrid. Since the travel budget coffers are low at Wine Harlots, and a trip to Spain isn’t in the cards this summer, the lovely folks at Snooth shipped a half-case of wines from D.O. Cariñena to explore during a video Google Hangout with a group of other wine writers. We had a great time, but it wasn’t the same as a trip to Spain, but, then again, I wasn’t struggling with a nine hour time zone jetlag, so I guess it’s a wash.

All of the six we tasted were tasty, quaffable bargains, but this was the standout. Monte Ducay Reserva is produced by Bodegas San Valero and is a juicy, fruity wine, perfect for summer barbecues and patio grilling. It tastes like a $15 wine, and it’s dressed up in a golden paper wrap that makes it look fancy — during our tasting, Gregory Dal Piaz of Snooth unwrapped the paper and demonstrated that it can double as a bib for eating, or can be crafted into a hat for protection from any summer downpours. Yep, wild and crazy fun.

What’s the perfect pairing? Any thing that comes off the grill — burgers, ribs, paella or even grilled vegetables will complement this easy-drinking red. The music match is “Lady in Spain” by Ingrid Michaelson. If you can’t actually be in Spain, this is the next best thing.

The details: 13% alcohol. Cork closure. Appellation: D.O. Cariñena. Grapes: tempranillo, cabernet sauvignon and garnacha. Price: $7 USD. Available exclusively from Trader Joe’s. This wine was a sample provided for editorial consideration.

Photo credit: EatonAlive ©2014