Main Event: a Spanish middleweight cagematch


Two of these had little between them, showing an imbalance of oak and fruit, blending into that one global wine style we seem to be careening towards. However, one of the wines really stood out and displayed the style that Ribera del Duero is known for…

2004 Tinto Figuero Crianza


She says: This deserved the official stamp of the Ribera del Dureo… to me this is the Corazón (heart) of the Duero.

He says: Is it a lot of money? Yes (for some). However, if you’re going to the Okanagan and buying 2-3 year old red wines for $30-40 (or paying more while dining out), do yourself a favor and try something with age, sophistication, and grace, for exactly the same price.

2004 Montebaco Crianza


She says: Big, bold and in your face but with sweet fruit and vanilla to soften the blow.

He says: I’d only prefer this wine if I was ordering a big, juicy steak with a side of roast beef – hold the veggies.

2004 Resalte Crianza


He says: Not recommended unless you’re sitting at a Victoria Secret lingerie viewing and need to control your drool.

She says: I almost had to snort the wine initially to get any aromas from it. Lacked the complexity and excitement of the other two wines.

Had a glass: 2007 Arrocal Tempranillo


He says: Absolutely loved it.

She says: This is just a hint of what Ribero Del Duero has to offer.

Had a glass: 2008 Delta Pinot Noir


He says: I was far from blown-away by this Pinot. Another less than stellar entry from Marlborough. Failed to shine against Bin 941′s duck dish; more suited to the fatty lamb confit.

She says: It is a step up from the Villa Maria but also a step up in price.

Had a glass: Pacific Rim Riesling


He says: It’s like all my ex-girlfriends, a bit sweet at the start, and then bitingly acidic as I got to know them. Not surprisingly, I also found all my ex-girlfriends more tolerable with a meal.

She says: Beautiful aromatics that keeps drawing your nose back to the glass.

Wine truths

“I feel sorry for people who don't drink. When they wake up in the morning, that's as good as they're going to feel all day.”
by Frank Sinatra

Wine Ratings

★☆☆☆☆ - Poor quality. Avoid. Save your money. Between 80-84 points.

★★☆☆☆ - Average quality or poor value. Between 84-88 points. Some expensive wines are downgraded for bad value.

★★★☆☆ - Good. Between 88-92 points. Or a good value on the lower end of the point scale.

★★★☆☆ - Excellent quality. Between 92-96 points. Or a cheap yet good quality wine which is excellent value.

★★★☆☆ - Outstanding, best examples in the world. Between 96 and 100 points. A perfect wine.