Tinto Rey is crafted by our good friends at Matchbook Vineyards and Winery. It is owned by the husband and wife team of John and Lane Giguiere and John's brother, Karl. The winery is so named because as youngsters John and Karl loved to play with matches, which occasionally caught fire. Their father took them to the country jail to impress upon them what could happen if they keep their pyrotechnics up. Apparently, it made an impression because they named their winery after their childhood experience.
Tinto Rey means Red King. This red blend is named after Tempranillo, the king of Spanish red wines and one of the most important red varietals in the Matchbook vineyard. The Spanish varietals, Tempranillo and Graciano, the principal grapes, contribute spicy red berry fruit flavors and small amounts of Tannat, for tannin and color. Verdejo, for the floral hints, rounds out the blend.
The grapes are harvested and within 20 minutes are crushed at the winery and left to ferment slowly in refrigerated tanks. This slow fermentation allows for increased absorption of color and extract. The fermenting wine is also stirred daily to equally distribute the skins so that the finished wine will be the same from top to bottom and side to side.
The result is a fresh fruit basket featuring plum and cherry boosted with anise, cinnamon and lilac. It's just what the chef ordered along with braised lamb shanks seasoned with garlic and rosemary.