I spent last week in Istambul, the best city in the world to enjoy the winter light, take long walks and nourish the spirit. The downside is that I did not try out a new Spanish wine in our New Year’s celebration. Yet near one of the superb restaurants we visited we found a shop with a great sign that read “Merry crisis”. This of course got me thinking about my favorites Spanish wines around or under 10 euros.

The usual suspects are probably well known to you, La Estacada, Martue and Grego, all of them new creations from the South Castilla region, provocative and cheap.

I should add to this list three more wines, fist La Montesa, from Herencia Remondo, that never fails to surprise and please me, a wine full of life and promise like the Bosphorus in contrast to the dusty old city -Pamuk dixit. My second choice is Martinez Lacuesta crianza, a Rioja that has resurrected and that is light and delicious -choose your own Oriental comparison. Third, Semele, 2005, a Ribera del Duero that is sometimes hard to find and that I enjoyed like any Istambul insider sips his apple tea.