When I was a kid my parents would send me to stay with my grandmother from time to time. She was from the Eastern Shore of Chesapeake Bay and her manners and accent seemed exotic to someone born and raised in the Midwest like me.
Grandmama, as we used to call her, used to serve a dessert she called ambrosia. The first time I heard the name I asked her what it meant. “The food of the gods”, she said.
Last Sunday I opened a bottle of Marqués de Riscal reserva 2002 and the word that came to mind was “ambrosia”. It was one of those rare occasions when you taste a wine that was absolutely at its peak. I was a little apprehensive when opening the bottle because 2002 wasn’t a Rioja vintage that stood out in my mind for its quality. Boy, was I wrong! It was pure silk.
Medium ruby with a slight brick tinge on the edge of the glass. Strawberry jam and spices on the nose. Great depth, perfect balance and smoothness, with no rough edges.
We enjoyed it with a Sunday dinner of roast pork shoulder smothered in gravy with vegetables and diced fried potatoes. We sipped it all afternoon while decorating the Christmas tree.
I’m excited about opening a few more bottles of this 2002 over the holidays. Somehow it got lost in my cellar and I have five bottles left!