Last night the local table d’hote series was at the local historical society, we started out on the lovely wide porch of the old house on a fine spring evening. A variety crostini were served as tapas -serrano ham with tomato, aged manchego with apple paste, and boquerones with green olive tapenade. Starter was the NV Dibon Brut Reserve Cava. Very light, crisp, appley, fresh, easy. B

As the light faded we moved inside. A little of amuse of ceviche was followed by a “Gazpacho Andaluz” (amazing good considering it’s not really tomato season). Then a paella with clams, mussels, chicken, chorizo, and prawns. Finish was a lemon tart and strawberries.

2010 Muga Rioja Rosado
this seemed to be a hit all around, but I thought it showed a little flat and tired, though drinkable. B-/C+

2010 Pecina Rioja Joven
Fresh, crushed black raspberry fruit, light, refreshing, nice value. B

2008 Pago de Valdetruchas “Los Cerezales” (Bierzo)
Mencia. Dense, a bit hard, I’m surprised by some oak. Not very charming. C+

1995 Muga Prado Enea Rioja Gran Reserva
Red fruit, a hint of barnyard, vanilla and a hint of coconut. A little green herb. Good acids, seems in a good place. B+

2001 Pecina Rioja Reserva
Really lovely, full red fruits, smoke, integrated oak. Medium bodied, some mushroomy notes with air, a hint of chocolate. Could use time but nice now.B+/A-

Fun evening.

Grade disclaimer: I'm a very easy grader, basically A is an excellent wine,B a good wine, C mediocre. Anything below C means I wouldn't drink at a party where it was only choice. Furthermore, I offer no promises of objectivity, accuracy, and certainly not of consistency.