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Plonk of the Month
 
 
New Wave Spanish Reds

Slip into your local wine shop in search of some tasty $10-and-under reds and chances are good you'll be pointed in the direction of Spain. That's because a number of up-and-coming regions there -- Somontano, Navarra, Campo de Borja, and Jumilla, among others -- are busy establishing a beachhead here with stylish, value-oriented wines. These don't deliver the fruit kick you expect from commercial Australian labels at a similar price. On the contrary, this new wave Spanish plonk demonstrates that less can be more. The best among them are well tuned and classically proportioned with a pleasing balance of fruit, earth, acidity, and texture. Enjoy them with a warming bowl of vegetable soup, quick stir-fry, or -- even better -- little plates served up tapas-style.

(Globe Photo)
 
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