Movie & Wine Pairing


Palacio del Conde Gran Reserva 2008
Valencia DO, Spain

Adventures of Don Juan (1948)
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Be seduced by this spicy Tempranillo while swashbuckling Errol Flynn falls for Viveca Lindfors’ Spanish Queen in Adventures of Don Juan. The film’s legendary hero originated in the south of Spain and makes the perfect suitor for this charming and toasty Valencia red. Don Juan’s climactic sword fight with the Duke de Lorca (Robert Douglas) pairs superbly with such a dynamic vintage.


Spain’s wine scene is “among the most vibrant, dynamic and creative in the world” (Tim Atkin, MW). This velvety, red-fruited Tempranillo from the acclaimed Maria Angeles Camara shows why. Crafted with hand-picked, old-vine fruit from the very good 2007 vintage, it was aged 36 months in American oak barrels – double the legal requirement for Gran Reservas in Valencia. That translates to extra mellow, toasty flavors in your glass. No wonder Palacio del Conde is such a critical success, vintage after vintage.


Palacio del Conde hails from one of Valencia’s most important cellars, whose wines are regularly praised in Spain’s premier Guía Peñín guide. Maria’s 2005 won top golds (Vinum Laugarisia 2010 and Le Concours Mondial de Bruxelles 2012); the 2006 won big at the International Wine & Spirit Competition and the International Wine Challenge, where it was praised for its “juicy red currant fruit, fresh acidity, mature tannins and balance.” Her 2007 now sports its own commendations from IWSC and IWC 2014.


Known as ‘Madrid-by-the-Sea,’ the coastal region of Valencia is where stylish Madrileños head for seaside relaxation. The region’s hot summers, wet winters and rich soils produce excellent wines, but that’s not all you’ll find here. It’s also filled with orange groves and considered the rice capital of Spain. No wonder paella (the famous saffron-infused dish of rice, seafood, meat and vegetables) was invented here.


As noted on the back label, Maria suggests letting this fine red breathe in a decanter for an hour or so before serving. Made for enjoying with a hearty bowl of paella, Palacio will also marry very well with lamb kebabs or roasted red meats (herb encrusted chicken thighs work well too). Vegetarian? Try char-grilled veggies or roasted garlic bulbs smeared on crusty bread.

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