WINE OF THE WEEK: 2005 Marques de Murrieta Rioja 'Reserva'; from Rioja, Spain; costs about $24; serve with ham and other cured meats, roasts and braised beans with sausages.
It's nice when you can drink a Rioja with a little age on it. So try the 2005 Reserve from Marques de Murrieta. That extra bit of time in the bottle makes for such delicious drinking. A blend of 84 percent tempranillo with 13 percent garnacha and 3 percent mazuelo, the wine tastes of earth and red plums, with tannins and acidity in perfect balance. And $25 or less for an 8-year-old wine is a wonderful buy, especially for one that is so food-friendly.
Break out some jamon or salumi as part of a cured-meats spread. Serve it with paella or an earthy dish of beans braised with lamb shanks or sausages.