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When the Penny Drops



There are times when the odd English phrase I grew up with just seems to fit the moment so perfectly. I can see my Grandpa now, a notorious trickster, chuckling when I finally recognized that I was the subject of his latest prank. He would say, “So the penny finally dropped, did it?” Which meant, you finally figured it out. This would cause both laughter and an immediate preoccupation on my part to dream up ways to get him back, such as tying his laces together during his afternoon doze, and other mischievous things.


Well, when I tasted this week’s lovely wine, the penny dropped so quickly I just knew we would be telling our Wine Friends about it on first sip.


ValSotillo Finco Buenavista 2017 ($17) is a red from the Ribera del Duero in central Spain, about two hours north of Madrid. What did I love about this wine? Firstly, it is so easy to drink. An extremely well-made wine, it is also fun and unpretentious at the same time. The rich dark raspberry and black cherry flavors are balanced with a dry finish that stops the ripe fruit being overbearing. You’ll find yourself taking sip after sip. Secondly, at less than $20, it is just the perfect everyday drinking wine that will go with so many things. This is probably one of the best BBQ wines I have come across recently. It will pair with burgers, ribs, juicy steaks, lamb chops, and the list goes on.


This wonderful red is made from Tinto Fino, a type of Tempranillo grape which has adapted to survive and thrive in Ribera del Duero, a region of extreme heat and cold. First planted by the Romans, this region is now home to many of Spain's most famous wines. The winery, Bodegas Ismael Arroyo-ValSotillo, was founded in 1979 by a family that has been growing grapes in the region for over 400 years. Underneath the property is a web of ancient cellars dating back to the 16th century, which provide the perfect conditions to age the wines. We can't wait to try some of the other wines this magical place produces!


On another note, the other penny that dropped recently was Penelope the duck who unfortunately fell and broke her leg while hopping from rock to rock in the garden. Today, I’m glad to report that thanks to lots of rest and my daughters' great care she is finally on her feet again and laying her lovely grey eggs.

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