Drinking Tonight: 2 Tempranillos with Pork Stir-Fry

I have 2 inexpensive Tempranillos from Trader Joe’s, to go with my home-made stir-fry and brown rice.  I’ll give you the recipe first, then we can talk wine.

Pork Stir-Fry

You’ll want to saute this in batches over medium heat in canola oil, using a large, deep saute pan – and then combine at the end.

  • Batch 1: 5 carrots, washed and sliced + 2-3 Tbsp ginger, finely diced + 1/2 jalapeno, diced (optional)
  • Batch 2: 2 zucchini and/or yellow squash, seeded and cut into bite-sized chunks + 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • Batch 3: 1/2 head bok choi or similar greens, washed and chopped. Cook this batch only lightly – you want the stems to get soft, but don’t let the leaves wilt.
  • Batch 4: 1 pound pork loin (trimmings are fine) + 2-3 onions, chopped.

After the pork is just browned and the onions are starting to get translucent, add all the other ingredients back in. Then add 1 cup of a marinade or sauce: ginger-soy or teriyaki work well, plus 1/2 cup of water or stock.  Simmer another 10-15 minutes on low, covered, until the flavors have started to blend, and serve over white or brown rice.

I’ve already expressed how much I love Spanish wine – especially Tempranillo – with pork. Today we’ll be trying out Terrenal and Zumaya. Zumaya has the better pedigree, coming from the renowned Ribera del Duero region; hence the price difference.

Terrenal Tempranillo (2010) Yecla, Spain – $6.00

Color: straight garnet red.

Aroma: just a touch musty at first, but that blows off and leaves behind dried fruit notes and a touch of dried floral aromas too – rose petal?

Taste: this is just a touch raisiny; I’ll have to do some research, but I suspect that it was a particularly hot year in Yecla, and they difficulty keeping everything in synch. The mid-palate and finish are pleasantly dusty, and the acidity and tannins are fine. This might be better with smoked or barbequed meat. $6 isn’t a bad price point, but I’ve written about competitors at that range that I think are better-made.


Zumaya Tempranillo (20011) Ribera del Duero, Spain – $11.50

Color: quite dark purple-red; this is very promising.

Aroma: right up front a touch of vanilla from the oak, then dark plummy fruit; some jammy/smoky hints underneath the straight fruit.

Taste: lots of character, with an excellent, rich mouthfeel and a taste profile that goes from tight dried fruit, through jammy fruit, and on to a spicy finish. They really got their money’s worth from the brief barrel aging. A good choice for the garlic-ginger-soy notes in the stir-fry.

This has just 2 months of American oak aging after stainless steel fermentation, so it would be classed as a Joven (young) – they also make a Crianza but I haven’t seen it on the shelves. A nice introduction to this important growing region for under $12 – recommended.


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