As food-friendly as a teenager after school, the Tapeña Tempranillo 2007, Vino de la Tierra de Castilla, hunkers right down with red meat pastas, pizza, steak and pork chops, shakes hands and stays awhile. Personally speaking, we had the wine with pizza two Saturdays ago. What was on that pizza? Tomatoes, pancetta pepata (peppered pancetta), bell pepper, green onions and mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses, accented with dried oregano, basil and marjoram.

If what you expect from an inexpensive tempranillo is a melding of leather and violets, black fruit scents and flavors highlighted by a dusty plum essence, briers and brambles, with a finish that brings in red currants, mossy tannins and a whiff of orange zest, all set in a texture that’s moderately dense and chewy, well, that’s exactly what you get here, and there’s not a damned thing wrong with that, if a wine is tasty and tempting. Enjoy 2010 or ’11. Very Good. About $10.

There’s also a Tapeña Garnacha 2007 that I found more generic and far less compelling that the Tempranillo.

Vino de la Tierra de …. (fill in the blank) is roughly equivalent to the French Vin de Pays system for Spanish regions in a holding pattern before being granted full Denominacion de Origin status, if they wish to apply. Tierra de Castille, smack in the middle of central Spain, was established in 1999; the area is planted to a staggering 1.5 million acres of vineyards. The climate is hot and arid, well-suited to hardy characters like Don Quixote and the tempranillo grape.

Imported by Freixenet USA, Sonoma, Cal.