Sunday, October 24, 2010


Martin Codax Rioja

The Lobster in Santa Monica is one of those restaurants where I expect to order white wine.  On my last visit to the seafood-with-an-ocean-view mainstay at the entance to the Santa Monica Pier I was seeing red.  Even though it was a brilliantly sunny day and we were seated right by the window, the ocean breeze blowing in through the open window actually gave me a bit of a chill.  I opted for a little warmup in the form of Martin Codax Rioja Tempranillo.  I certainly wasn't giving up the window seat!

The Spanish Tempranillo, at $7 per glass, is one of the more affordable offerings on The Lobster's extensive - and pricey - wine list.  It also served as a wonderful pre-lunch drink for folks like me who don't particularly go for Bloody Marys.  Looking around the restaurant, it seemed I was of the minority opinion on that issue.  There were a lot of celery stalks bringing in the noon hour.

This dark wine is very fruit forward on the nose with minerals apparent.  Cherry aromas mingle with an earthiness that makes me anxious to taste.

The lean and elegant palate shows earth and leathery blackberry and cherry, quite a dark flavor profile.  It's very dry with smooth tannins and a great acidity.

It's almost a shame I had no skirt steak or ribs to pair with it, but I was happy to sip it while dragging a slice of bread through the olive oil.  The fabulous pairing would come later. when my scallops would meet an Oregon Pinot Gris.

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