It was on a trip early in my wine career to see Oscar and his sister Amelia that I properly fell in love with Ribera del Duero.
Ribera is right beside Rioja in northern Spain but because it sits on an elevated plain, the days are hotter and nights are colder. So the wines tend to be more powerful, but also fresher. It’s the perfect recipe for creating ultra-premium and long-lived reds.
Ribera is also the lamb capital of Spain, and nowhere on earth does it taste better than an unassuming little restaurant called Casa Anton, in the tiny medieval village of Lerma.
There’s no menu, the decor is rustic and the service is gruff. You take a seat and without asking for it, lunch is promptly thrown in front of you.
First, a carafe of local red and a few tumbler glasses. Then a plate of crusty bread. (At this point it’s not advised to ask for butter as Ruth did, any more questions and you’ll be out on the street). Then a bowl of simple green salad.
And finally the main event! A shoulder of baby lamb. Milk-fed to 60 days-old, slow-roasted in its own juices for 7-8 hours, served on a big dish to be shared with the table.
There’s an awful lot of guff written about food and wine matching, but in my experience the best matches are the local ones. So when you drink this rough-enough table red with the best lamb on earth, it’s the closest you’ll come to food and wine heaven.
What’s this got to do with Oscar’s wines? Well Oscar first brought me to Casa Anton, and I make it my business to go back there with him any time I’m travelling within a 200km radius of the place.
As a special treat one day he brought his top wine Flor de Silos, and that moment possibly sowed the seed for WineSpark - sharing amazing, authentic experiences with passionate wine drinkers like you.