In the never-ending search for wines that ride the double-yellow between cork dorkery and suckitude, it's always a good idea to begin in Spain.
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In the past dozen or so years, Spanish wines have gone from cheap Rioja and a bunch of other stuff to some of the finest wines in the world. There's still plenty of cheap Rioja, and some of it's pretty decent, but there's a lot more to Spanish wine than just that.
Torres "Sangre del Toro" ("Blood of the Bull"), for example. It costs all of 10 bucks, is available at Publix and comes with a nifty little plastic bull tied around the neck. More important, it's got a lot going on for a damn good price. Take a big whiff in the glass and you get a noseful of blueberries and blackberries, mint and licorice. It tastes like that too, a big, earthy, meaty wine that'll bang it with burgers, barbecue, stews, roasts and a thick, juicy steak still sizzling from the grill.
There's no bullshit about this bull.