Forward pass: Tikal Patriota for steaks, burgers & weenies
Partying during the 2013-2014 football season has never been better thanks to this red wine that is a sure crowd pleaser. Even its slightly offbeat “tango” label sets the mood to root for the side that will surely prevail.
But as always, there’s the hidden meaning, especially for New England fans who may still be experiencing a few “sour grapes” from last season. In Argentina (the home of this wine), the name Patriota actually means “Patriot” in English. Well you get it, but you may want to keep that bit of trivia to yourself.
But seriously, Tikal’s winemaker Ernesto Cantena considers this blend of Malbec and Bonarda to be right from the core of Argentine winemaking since day one. And it shows in their work. With a no slouch rating a few years back from Robert Parker of 91 points (12/2011), this is one to serve during the big game, or any game if you please.
As with any non-wimp wine, there is always a lot to appreciate when the bouquet reaches your nose as it’s poured. There has probably been research confirming just how much time it takes for the scent to be detected by the olfactory nerves, a good guess is about 2 seconds. Hey, that’s just enough time to blast the ball 20 yards or so downfield. Anyhow, it’s quick, and pleasing.
So pour this one with gusto, it’s going to talk back. You’ll notice a loads of ripe plums, Asian spice, a little “afternoon by the Railroad Tracks”, and blueberry in the bouquet. Of course, what makes it pair so well with the grilled beef stuff is its body of bold dark fruit (more so than straight Malbec), followed up with fine but persistent tannins that actually finish quite softly.
Considering the depth of color that this puppy sports, its overall mellow disposition is quite surprising. Let’s hope that you enjoy the game as much as the wine and keep those delights coming off the grill.
You can find this little gem at Phoenix area Total Wine outlets for just under $23. As with many wines from Argentina, these are good values, with a lot of panache for the money. And if you really like Malbec, it’s a slam dunk. Oops, sorry, wrong game.
Serve at near room temperature with a slight chill, 65 degrees.