Siglo 1881 Rioja

By | November 1, 2006

I went to see Coventry play last night. It wasn’t a highlight of my week. Having had a plastic bottle of super gassy beer at half time, I decided against adding to my digestive woe with another after the game. We went to the pub and I had a glass of Rioja.

Wine in pubs has improved dramatically over the last ten years. Wetherspoons has helped, despite Constellation’s meddling, and quite a few other chains offer reasonable wine by the glass and the bottle.

I had a Siglo 1881 Rioja. Siglo do a lot of on-trade wines, and at their naff-est, a red and a white rioja with hessian wrapped bottles. Bless. Siglo 1881 Rioja doesn’t need the hessian to sell it. It’s a light, cherry red, with some spice and light red fruits as well as a touch of vanilla on the nose.

It’s dry with a soft acidity and less tannin than I’d expected. It feels smooth and light and tastes of vanilla and redcurrants and raspberries, with a little pepper, but without a long finish.

For a pub wine this wasn’t bad. It’s certainly not a great introduction to the wonders of Rioja, but at £9 a bottle in the pub, and around £5.50 from an off licence, it’s better than burping your way through the evening on Carling Black Label.

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