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Bybo wine collection, Berwick Lodge, November 2013

The quote from the late, great, Christopher Hitchens, is a response to one of the dreariest, but necessary, questions bandied about by wine waiters the world over “Red or White?”

Hitch’s retort “Wine. Is, Red” aptly describes this wonderful wine from Pago de los Capellanes in Spain’s Ribera del Duero. A thoroughly deserved winner of the inaugural “Wines from Spain” award 2012, this is low-yield, 100% Tempranillo. of exceptional character and quality.

Quintessentially Spanish, but bigger and chunkier than Rioja, this is a manly wine in every, fashionably bearded, sense of the word. Large hands and firm grips are needed to hold the substantially weighty. flask-shaped bottle, together with a penchant for sleeping outdoors. Women can drink it too – the VOR was extremely fond of it – but were it my last bottle they would have to prise it from my cold, dead, Action Man-esque, grippy hands.

Fruit-forward, packed with plums, damsons, and liquorice and richly enrobed in medium-toast, French oak – this is a fabulously juicy and powerful red wine.

We had it, indoors (it’s winter for Gods sake), with smoked haddock gratin and buttered Cavolo Nero. Red wine with fish – how manly is that!

Thanks to Mark Bolton for making this scrumptious wine look as good as it tasted.