Food & dining

from the bar

This Spanish red is the life of the party

Deborah Hansen

Deborah Hansen, the chef-owner-sommelier of Taberna de Haro in Brookline, has seen her share of wine trends in the last 20 years. Some Spanish wine regions, for example, promote “big, oaky, too-ripe” reds that aim to please the masses. “I’m always searching for wines that think outside that sad box,” she shares. So imagine her delight when she discovered the pours of Alfredo Maestro, a next-generation winemaker, based in Ribera del Duero, who crafts organic wines from forgotten plots of old vines. “It’s so young and alive,” says Hansen, referring to a 2015 “El Rey del Glam” ($43 a bottle). “It’s broad on the palate, not mellowed by oak, and not marred by oxidation.” She pairs the garnacha with cordero en chilindrón, chunks of lamb stewed in a smoky slurry of dried choricero and ancho peppers, simmered with tomatoes and a kiss of cinnamon. The traditional dish — featured on the new fall menu — plays well with the wine’s tannins, which make the red brim with even more character. “It’s lusty, purple, and luminous,” she enthuses.

Taberna de Haro, 999 Beacon St., Brookline, 617-277-8272,