We confess ourselves gobsmacked. It happened the other evening as we opened a bottle of one of our favorite everyday Spanish reds to go with a cold summer supper of barbecued turkey meatloaf with spinach-feta and yam-millet cakes on the side. As we took the first familiar and satisfying sip it hit us: We've been writing about wines in this space for a couple of years and we've yet to share our fondness for Red Guitar, a blend of old vines tempranillo and garnacha (grenache) from Navarra.
The bottle that prompted this belated revelation was a 2007 that goes for about $10 at wine-savvy markets and wine shops, making it not only a well-priced table wine but also a good introduction to Spanish reds for those who haven't tried them. It is uncomplicated and accessible, light but stylish. The tempranillo, which is the dominant blender at 55 percent, gives this cherry cola for grownups structure and lends the garnacha some welcome backbone. Drink it at room temp or chill it for an hour before opening.
Red Guitar's nose is quite subtle, making the explosion of ripe raspberry and blackberry on the tongue a pleasant surprise. In fact, the dictionary definition of fruit forward should simply display a copy of this friendly puppy of a wine's handsome label. The rambunctious flavors marry perfectly and then ride off into the sunset on a long, soft finish.
By Colette and John Bancroft. She is the Times' book editor, and he is a freelance writer specializing in food, wine and travel.