Monthly Archive for December, 2008

Altos de Tamaron – good wine for the low budget wino

Altos de Tamaron is a vino tinto that hails from the Spanish region of Ribera del Duero, where extreme weather provides excellent conditions for viticulture. In fact, the label of this low-budget wonder states, “Made with grapes matured under extreme conditions, between the heat of the day and the coldness of the night, ‘Fire and Ice’ to provide this wine with an exceptional quality.”

I am no fine wine connoisseur, but I have done my share of boozing on a budget, so follow me if you can relate to the experience of tippling tetrabrick Don Simon, or of chugging Carlo Rossi. Until a couple of years ago Sangre de Toro — a Riojan Catalan wine — was my semi-cheapo wine of choice. But retailers savvy to the cheap-wine-loving masses in Spain have upped the price, and now Sangre de Toro sadly costs 5 euros and up.*

Altos de Tamaron comes from the less fashionable region of Ribera del Duero, but it is of an excellent quality. Until a week ago, it cost only €2.99 at Consum (a very aptly named supermarket chain in Barcelona). Now Consum is charging €3.29, perhaps because they have caught on to the Altos de Tamaron phenomenon.

It has nice suave initial attack — unlike those vastly inferior tetrabrick wines which have to be chilled before drinking (unless you are really drunk to begin with). I think I tasted a certain earthy quality one day; my girlfriend noted a certain fruitiness; another day I noticed a certain nuttiness — so, as you can see, it probably depends on the meal you are accompanying it with. I would say it’s a straightforward and friendly wine that adapts to the company it keeps. I found it goes well with rotisserie chicken, mustard-glazed pork chops, and hamburgers. It has an easy tannic grip, and won’t overwhelm your fine palate. In all, a great wine for lower middle class winos who are lucky enough to be in Spain, where even the cheap wine is good.

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* UPDATE: I just got back from Consum and it now costs €4.05. At this price I would say it beats out Altos as the best low budget wine.

Is Žižek an existentialist?

The experience that we have of our lives from within, the story we tell ourselves about ourselves in order to account for what we are doing, is fundamentally a lie – the truth lies outside, in what we do.

From Violence

The Coen brothers on making movies

From an interview they gave last December at BAFTA.