Some weeks ago I was able to escape from the bleak winter of Madrid to the coast of Tunisia. During the trip I became acquainted with Angus Lordie, a portrait painter from Edinburgh. He is a direct guy, ascetic looking, with a deep voice, much in favor of whisky grants for poets and academics like himself. We did not drink any wine together but had some good conversations about politics, art and Scotland. He also chatted quite a bit about dogs with my wife. He pointed out that nowadays Edinburgh is full of wine bars, a development he welcomed as long as he was allowed in them with his dog Cyril.

When I returned home, I tried a couple of new wines that I thought Angus would like, even though he is not (yet) a wine person. Portraiture has its risks, but let me try to sketch both of these wines. The first one is Sierra Cantabria Cuvée 2005, a wine made by the Eguren family in Rioja. It is both modern and ancient, complex and pleasant. For a price of 15 euros, I do not think you can find a comparable red in Spain.

The second one is Almirez 2007, also a new-new thing of the Eguren clan, creators of the amazing Numanthia and Termanthia wines in the Toro region. Almirez is a younger brother who needs to be decanted and then surprises you with its own distinctive elegance. Each of these two wines would be a good model for Angus Lordie, painter of souls.