There’s a certain style of Spanish wine that is decidedly un-Spanish but has become a particular favorite of the Winestream media. These wines are red, often made with garnacha, and are fruitier and higher in alcohol than most Spanish wines.
Having said that, some of them are actually worth drinking. We’ve covered Evodia on the blog (and I’ll be reviewing the new vintage later this year), and the Laya ($9, purchased, 14.5% alcohol) fits into that category as well.
It’s not quite a $10 Hall of Fame wine – the oak that’s there gives it an almost Adams Extract vanilla flavor. But everything else is present for great cheap wine, including lots and lots of black fruit that is neither sweet nor extracted – just intense. Yes, the alcohol is high, but the wine handles it well and you won’t flinch when you taste it.
It’s probably a bit much to drink on its own, but it would pair with most winter dinners, including beef stew and maybe even macaroni and cheese.