Spanish bond yields back up...

Based on my reading of Draghi's speech that seems to have excited the market so much, and my general view on Euro policy and politics, I'm not surprised that Spanish 10-year bond yields are back up over 7%.  I guess my probabilities are about 40% for the Euro surviving in pretty much its present form (with or without Greece), without very much of the looser monetary policy involved in the third alternative below, and perhaps with a bit more of the political and fiscal integration that Draghi and many other Euro policymakers seem to view as essential to the Euro's survival,  but with Europe facing a lost decade à la Japan; 40% that it unravels fast, at some unpredicable point in time but most likely within the next two years; and 20% that in the face of further crisis, the Europeans finally collectively figure out a reasonable macroeconomic response involving additional monetary stimulus and acceptance of moderate inflation and further Euro devaluation, as well as a turn in the real terms of trade to make the Southern Eurozone countries more competitive relative to the Northern ones (especially relative to Germany).

Celler el Masroig 2007 Sol'a Fred

Had this wine last night with a casual dinner of posole and english-muffin pizzas prepared by a friend who's visiting from the East Coast.  Not sure how much I paid for it, but it seems to go for around $10 on the internet.  The wine is 90% Carinyenya (Carignan), 10% Garnacha (Grenache), from the Denominaco' d'Origen Montsant, in Catalunya.  I think I bought in on the basis of a shelf-slip quoting a Parker (or at least Wine Advocate---Parker's publication which now employs other tasters/reviewers as well) rave.  Was a little apprehensive given that Carignan-based wines are sometimes a bit rough and one-dimensional.  Carignan was at one time widely planted in the Southwest of France and Northern Spain for it's high production of simple country wines.  For awhile many producers in the Languedoc and southern France were grubbing up Carignan vines and replanting with grapes with more international appeal, like Cabernet and Syrah.  Some of the wines thus produced were good to excellent, but from my limited experience some were also just dark and inky but uncomplex, high in alcohol, and tiring to drink.  I'd guess there's been a bit of return to roots in the area as some growers try to make more traditional grapes like Carignan give the best wines they can.  Anyway, Celler el Masroig has certainly succeeded in doing that here: this really is a perfect pizza wine, with the blackberry fruitiness that Carignan has at its best, tannins relatively smooth, not rough, and in the background, with a sappy, relatively smooth feel in the mouth that's delicious, and can even handle the mild spice of a posole (traditional New Mexican hominy and chile-based stew, in this case a vegan version).  Not a Great Wine, perhaps, but that's not the point---nor would a Great Wine be as enjoyable with a casual meal like this.  I doubt you'll find a better Carignan anywhere, and at ten bucks the price is about right.

Sometimes a wine touted as a great pizza or barbecue wine, a relatively uncomplicated, easy-drinking red, can turn out to be just boring, a bit rough, or tiring---not necessarily the fault of the touter, it may just depend on the exact food pairing; they may have had it with something that somehow cut, or complemented, the tannin and let the flavor emerge.  I don't think you'll have that problem with this baby, though---if it can handle pizza and posole, it should go with just about any food you'd normally want to serve an uncomplicated, fruity, southern European wine with---like burgers, barbecue, or for that matter, a cheese (like the yummy Cotswold with chives that our friend brought along to end the meal with).