With a big table of diners all choosing different dinner options there was no point in trying to pick a wine that could go well with fish and chips, Sicilian pasta, baked cod with minted potatoes and the marvellously weird Lancashire Rag Pudding, a sort of meat pasty that looked like it had been wrung through a mangle. We opted for a Rioja instead, as a wine that everyone liked, and some water that people could drink with their meal, and enjoy the wine afterwards if the clash was too great.
Koden doesn’t sound like a terribly Spanish word, or a Lancastrian one at that. It turns out it’s an Aztec one, an untranslatable word that implies the point in a woman’s life when she is at her most fabulous. I like to think that’s right now, and will continue to be right now until it’s my funeral.
Luis Alegre Koden Rioja Alavesa ’14 was a bright cheerful red, more Lego than claret red. It smelled of fresh crushed fruit, strawberry and cherry, with a little vanilla. It’s all Tempranillo, all the time. It tasted of fresh fruit too, with red and blackcurrants joining the cherries and strawberries. The vanilla got a bit of help too with some light aniseed which made the wine taste a little more grown up than it smelled.
The alcohol was certainly at the adult level. 14% gave it some weight and added a warming mouthfeel along with the smooth, ripe tannins.