The question came out of the blue while enjoying a glass of wine at Barolo (Príncipe de Vergara 211, Madrid,

Maria hinted “The Jumilla’s Altos de Luzan”. A 13 € bottle of blended 50% monastrel, 25% cabernet sauvignon and 25% tempranillo. “And we will have some money left for tapas” she added. A purpled coloured wine with a dominant new oak and fruity aroma, overall equilibrium in mouth and persistent tannin nicely integrated. It was really a good start.

“What about Dominio de Tares Cepas Viejas?” suggested Ignacio. I couldn’t agree more. A Bierzo made red wine (100% mencia), 12 € a bottle, medium to dark ruby, powerful fruity aroma, round and mouth filling and a hint of coffee in the finish. And still   enough money left to have a tapa.  A good buy.

“I rather go for Casa Castillo” said Blanca. “Well, things are looking up”, I thought. This estate bottle blend from Jumilla of 90% monastrel and 10% cabernet sauvignon is a dark ruby wine with sweet American oak scented nose, long in mouth. It must be tasted to be believed and for 9 €, real value for your money.

“What would you say to Baltasar Gracian, Grenache, Viñas Viejas (Calatayud)” I ventured to suggest. Dark intense cherry, depth scent with the Grenache thick, full bodied and superbly concentrated, with a straight forward and pleasant finish. For only 4, 5 €, a bargain.

“Not bad, not bad” Blanca answered me back,” but have you heard of Finca La Estacada?” Oh, come on, that was below the belt, a 3, 5 € bottle 100 % tempranillo coming from Cuenca (Vinos de la Tierra de Castilla). Bright cherry, fruity scent, strong and dry tannins, perhaps a bit toughs but with a future. A terrific bargain

“Can you beat it?” Pressed me Blanca again. Well, actually I could. For 2.2 € you can buy the Lavinia cosechero a medium bodied wine, with mild acidity, smooth berry taste. A superb every day wine. An unbeatable bargain. (Lavinia, José Ortega y Gasset 16, Madrid,

To wind up my gossiping, it’s up to you to work out the answer to the question.

by guest contributor Fernando Vigón