06 November 2009

2007 Rio Seco Malbec

I love inexpensive Malbecs for their bold flavors and easy pairing. Here I enjoyed the wine with a vegetarian pizza, but it would work well with BBQ, steak, lamb, etc.

The 2007 Rio Seco Malbec is from Mendoza, Argentina. $12, 13% abv. Black cherry, full plummy flavors with a big mouthfeel, medium tannins, long finish. This is a great table wine, and I'm glad that we're getting better and better access to inexpensive but decent selections.

In the background you can see one of my less-noted wine glasses: a polycarbonate tumbler. While I love proper crystal and try to pick the right glass to go with the right wine, for everyday bottles I'm sometimes less discriminating, especially when it comes to leftovers on the second day. This is also my travel glass: it's rigid, indestructible, perfectly clear, easy to wash in a hotel sink, and works well enough for casual tasting. You can do a swirl and sniff on this easily enough, and with its short squat shape you're not going to easily tip it over and destroy your laptop.

There's not a great solution for traveling wine lovers when it comes to glassware. Yes, you can construct a special package for your beloved Riedel glass and keep it in the luggage, but it could always disappear in the hotel room if someone mistakes it for a room service glass. Some suggestions from my personal experience, based on spending a week or more in one place and finding fun curiosities in different wine markets:
  • The $2 Wal-Mart Wine Glass: Ugly, clunky, and thick, but you can buy just one anywhere in the US and leave it behind when you depart.
  • The Room Service Deception: Late night reports have to be filed and you're stuck ordering room service? A lot of hotels use goblet-style water glasses with whatever you order. Rinse it out and stash it in one of the drawers. Before you check out, be sure to put the glass somewhere visible, and leave a tip in it.
  • The Friendly Bartender: If you're not willing to actually ask the hotel bartender if you can borrow a glass for the evening (and be sure to purchase a cocktail or something and tip handsomely first), there's the introverted option of slowly wandering off with the glass until you can duck into the elevator. Again, be sure to return it later.
  • The Scavenger: I do not recommend swiping a used wine glass off a random room service tray in the hallway and ducking back to your room like my dog Wolfgang stealing a chicken carcass from the trash can. The glass will probably have lipstick on it and if you get caught there's no respectable way to explain what you were doing.


fredric koeppel said...

and of course many a trattoria in Rome serves the vino rosso de la casa in small water glasses; no harm done; v. charming actually.

Grace said...

I don't know why you don't take your foldable boy scout cup.

Benito said...


It's a nice change of pace from time to time.


But that cup is so much fun to play with! I get distracted and forget about the wine.