Growing up in England, I had Spain as the main holiday (vacation) destination. Mainly, it was the islands of Majorca and Ibiza, located in the middle of the eastern Mediterranean seaboard. I loved going to Spain, and I have fond memories of visiting there with my family as a kid, never imagining that I was surrounded by so many amazing wine regions.
Wine from Spain was first introduced by the Phoenicians in 800 B.C. The Spanish wines today are very striking and unique.
Here are a couple of grape varieties and regions you should put on your bucket list to try:
Rioja is located north of the Iberian Peninsula, where the Tempranillo grape rules. Tempranillo and American oak blend together perfectly with a rich vanilla flavor, dried fig and cherry. The wine gets its flavor from the long aging process.
Here is an example:
Vino Joven – less aging than required for Crianza
Crianza – 2 years (including 6 months in cask)
Reserva – 3 years (including 1 year in cask)
Gran Reserva – 5 years (including 18 months in cask)
Bodegas Lan Rioja Reserva 2008
This wine is an excellent example of the true authentic Rioja. On the nose, it expresses beautiful, ripe black cherry with spice and leather on the palate.
Borsao Garnacha 2013- Region Aragon (Campo de Borja)
Aragon is located to the east of Rioja. The Campo de Borja area is the commander of the Garnacha grape. The Borsao Garnacha 2013 is very fruit driven with soft tannins. Put your nose in the glass and all you can smell is cherry and violets. It’s juicy and a fantastic value. You could even use this to blend in your sangria.
Juan Gil Monastrell 2013-Region Jumilla
Jumilla is located in southeastern Spain in the Provence of Murcia. Monastrell is the Spanish name for Mourvedre. The Juan Gil Monastrell is absolutely delicious! You can smell the red berries and peppery spices. On the palate, you get lots of blueberry, blackberry and plum flavors, ending with a touch of mocha. You could pair this with beef short ribs, lamb or even pork sausage.
Writing this blog is fun, but when it brings back memories about the times I spent in Spain, it makes it that much more enjoyable. I’m looking forward to a vacation back there again sometime soon!