Marques de Tomares Gran Reserva 1996
Written by Debra C. Argen   

Marques de Tomares Gran Reserva 1996 Autumn has arrived. It is time to turn our attention to bolder, richer wines to complement heartier seasonal menus, and the Marques de Tomares Gran Reserva 1996 proves itself a worthy companion.


Marques de Tomares Gran Reserva 1996Summer has officially ended in the Western part of the world, children have returned to school, and it is time to change our seasonal wardrobes, as well as our wine selections. The heat of summer is becoming a fading memory, and the new crops of seasonal vegetables are beginning to call to me like a siren. Now is the time that I start thinking about planning autumn harvest menus around richer meat, game, and roasted root vegetables, and with that thought, it is time to start planning pairing menus with heartier wines, and wines from Spain are a perfect choice.

The Marques de Tomares Gran Reserva, 1996 produced by Union de Viticultores Riojanos, SL, Fuenmayor, Spain is a DOCa (Denominacion de Origen Calificada) wine from the Rioja region, made with grapes from vines that are over 40 years old. It is made from a blend of 90% Tempranillo, the indigenous grape of the Rioja region, and 10% Mazuelo (also known as Cariñena or Carignon), which is added for its rich tannins and structure. The wine is aged in American oak barrels for a period of 24-30 months, and is then bottle aged for a minimum of 40 months. The result is a well-crafted, balanced, and complex wine, with a deep red color, with dark rich fruit, black cherries, currents, and a hint of vanilla on the nose, with black cherries, elderberries, and harmonious tannins on the palate, and a long, memorable finish.

Marques de Tomares Gran Reserva 1996 with rack of lambThis well structured wine has 12.5% alcohol and pairs well with food. It should be decanted 45-60 minutes before serving to let the wine open up and bring out all of the nuances. The Marques de Tomares Gran Reserva 1996 proved to be an admirable companion, when I paired it with Rack of Lamb, garlic roasted mashed potatoes, roasted carrots, and pearl onions. The wine has rich fruit, balanced tannins and a bit of earthiness, which complemented the lamb and the roasted root vegetables without overpowering them. 

The Marques de Tomares Gran Reserva 1996 also paired well with a cheese course, which got me to thinking about how it would taste in a dessert recipe. My niece, Nicole, had told me about a wonderful ice cream that she had once tried with red wine, and so I thought, why not create an ice cream using the Marques de Tomares Gran Reserva 1996. I know that it might seem a bit decadent to use a $50 bottle of wine to cook with, however I am a firm believer that you should cook with the best products; if you would not drink the wine, do not use it in your recipes. For the best results, always use the best ingredients. Besides, we would only use a small amount of the wine in the ice cream, so why not? Since ice cream making is not my expertise, I asked Edward F. Nesta to indulge in a little creative inspiration and create an elegant, sophisticated ice cream that would show off this wonderful Rioja, which resulted in Luxury Experience's Sophisticated Reserva.  

The Recipes   

Luxury Experience's Sophisticated Reserva

Luxury Experience's Sophisticated Reserva 

Always looking to create new ice cream flavors, Edward F. Nesta created an ice cream using the Marques de Tomares Gran Reserva 1996, which resulted in Luxury Experience's Sophisticated Reserva. 



heavy cream



whole milk








Marques de Tomares Gran Reserva 1996

Beat eggs and milk together in a large saucepan. Add sugar and cook over low heat, stirring constantly until the mixture is thickened. Just before the mixture comes to a boil (when you see the first bubbles), remove the saucepan from heat, pour the mixture into a bowl, and let it cool. Add the cream and refrigerate overnight.

Pour the mixture into an ice cream maker about one to two hours before serving, and when the ice cream is almost firm, drizzle the wine into the ice cream to create a swirl. If you make the ice cream the day before you will need to let it sit out awhile as there are no preservatives used, thus the mixture will freeze solid.

Read Chefs' Recipes for a fantastic recipe for Poached Rack of Lamb from Chef David Burke.


Winery:     Union de Viticultores Riojanos, SL, Fuenmayor, La Rioja, Spain
Wine: Marques de Tomares Gran Reserva 1996 
DOCa: Rioja 
Type: Red wine
Grapes: 90 % Tempranillo and 10% Mazuelo
Alcohol: 12.5%
Price:   $50/bottle 


For information on Marques de Tomares Gran Reserva 1996, please contact:

James Turney, Importer
Parador Selections, LLC
389 York Street
Jersey City, New Jersey 07302
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© October 2006. Luxury Experience. All rights reserved.