Monday, June 09, 2008

Tinto de Barrantes - an acquired taste!

Every year our local village of Barrantes holds a 'Fiesta do Vino Tinto' in celebration of the red wines of the Rias Baixas region. Now, to be honest, the Rias Baixas region does not actually produce too many red wines, and within the D.O. there are actually very few Bodegas that make it. There are however a couple of grape varieties, such as Mencia and CaiƱo, that can produce a half-decent glass, but in reality the red grape struggles in our climate, to reach full maturity.

The truth of the matter is that the village of Barrantes produces it's own red wine, made from hybrid grapes, which is not actually legal within our D.O. regulations. It is very possible therefore, that the real motivation behind this fiesta is simply to quoff this local libation in copious amounts under the guise of an 'official' red wine celebration.

'Tinto de Barrantes' as it is known, is bright purple (similar to an unfermented Beaujolais) and is served in white ceramic cups that tend to exaggerate it's colour. It has very low alcohol (below 10%) and is quite fruity, but, in my opinion, it suffers from an unacceptably high level of volatile acidity. It tastes rather like an unfinished wine that has not yet completed it's alcoholic fermentation (as it's vivid colour would suggest), and it is definitely an acquired taste.

In the end I guess that it what makes the world of wine so interesting - we all enjoy different things - I regret to say, that for me at least, Tinto de Barrantes is not one of them.......

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