Scoring 18+ points on the Dionysian scale of 20 possible points, the 1985 Corral Grand Reserva Rioja from Bodegas Corral had 12.5% alcohol and cost under $15. The edge was amber, the cherry pit aroma filled with spicy hints made the 35 year-old wine a master piece of perfection. Yes, Rioja can age well. I’ve had it for 29 years.

It was featured with a bit-size selections of salted almonds, Don Bernardo manchego cheese, beef bits, tomato sauce on wheat crackers, spoons of creamed rice, and some shrimp. The wine married with everything.

I usually get Reserva Rioja and age them myself, but some of the Gran Reservas are made from the best barrel selections besides being aged longer. This one was. After decanting, the wine took 45 minutes to fully open. I wishI had more of these. In Vino Veritas.