Castaño Monastrell 2007

(This essay is a “tasting story” of my experience with this wine)

I was visiting the small town of  **, it was bullfighting season, and I had just left the arena with a throng of people and found my way to a restaurant for a late dinner. The restaurant was filled with an energized crowd; the air was thick of the smoke of grilled meat, cigarettes, and sweat. The furnishings were somewhat tacky but appropriate in encouraging lustful behavior. The walls were painted a dark red and beaded curtains separated private booths.

It was close to midnight and he was already intoxicated. He had been eyeing me for some time and I suppose his friends had made him drunk enough to muster up the courage to approach me. He stumbled towards me, alcohol heavy on his breath and smelling of fresh tobacco leaves and manure.  He looked like a country bumpkin; plaid shirt, corduroy trousers, but he was empowered by the ambiance and the alcohol and without even asking me, he grabbed my hand and pulled me onto the dance floor. Dancing was a disaster. As my friends giggled in the corner, he made flamboyant moves that were impossible to coordinate with. Embarrassed and overwhelmed with his energy, I suggested we go outside.

We stumbled out into the clear August night, it was late in the season and the temperature was warm, but not uncomfortable. We sat on the edge of the stone fountain where there were plots of planted marigolds. The fresh air and faint, sweet smell of plums from a neighboring orchard seemed to knock the rampant bull out of him. After half an hour, I found myself having an actual conversation with him and he proved to be a pleasing companion, although he was young and still inexperienced with the ways of the world. Instead of having sex, which is what I had initially anticipated, we ended up talking about his dreams. I felt temporally thrown back 10 years, which was a nice nostalgic trip, but not something I would want to visit again.

Bodegas Castaño / Yecla / Spain

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