Spain’s Most Popular Wines and Where to Find Them
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Imagine yourself surrounded by the rolling hills of Spanish wine country. As you admire the green and burnt orange landscape that spans out as far as the eye can see, you take a sip from your glass of wine. “Oh yes, that’s good” you think, as that first gulp warms your body from the inside out. As you take your second sip, a fall breeze passes by. “What better way to welcome the fall than with a glass (or two) of exquisite wine from Spain?” Throughout the country, each region has its own contribution to the impressive repertoire of wines from Spain. With the wide variety, there’s sure to be a perfect wine for all vino enthusiasts! We’re going to take you through some of Spain’s most popular wines and where to drink them! Glasses ready?
Sherry from Andalusia
Let’s start our wine tour in the southernmost region of Andalusia where sherry wine or Vino de Jerez is made. First and foremost, sherry wine is only true sherry if it’s made in the province of Cadiz within the “Sherry Triangle”; consisting of Jerez de la Frontera, Puerto de Santa María and Sanlúcar de Barrameda. A fortified wine with dry, nutty and salty notes, it has been consumed by Andalusians for centuries! Today, you can try a range of dry sherry styles: Oloroso, Palo Cortado, Amontillado, and the most popular and lightest, Manzanilla / Fino. Paired perfectly with classic tapas like olives, almonds, fried fish and cured meats, we’d say there’s nothing more authentic to Cadiz than enjoying these perfect pairings while watching a flamenco show in a tablao. Olé!
Verdejo from Rueda
If you’ve tried Verdejo wine from Rueda, consider yourself part of the wine elite! Because this wine is fairly uncommon and unique to this small DO (Designation of Origin) area, it’s a wine that is sought out by wine aficionados. This light-bodied refreshing white wine has citrus flavors of lemon, lime and grapefruit. A perfect compliment to sharp cheeses like Manchego, vegetables including asparagus and artichoke, and chicken dishes, we recommend you go off-the-beaten-wine-path and explore the vineyards in this gorgeous region!
Tempranillo from La Rioja & Ribera del Duero
When you think of wine from Spain, the first thing that pops into your mind is probably Tempranillo. But where should you drink it? Good question! Although you can find the oh-so-popular red wine in bars and restaurants throughout the country, we recommend you go to the two DO regions that are most prominent in production: Rioja and Ribera del Duero. The two most famous wine regions in Spain, each has their own unique style of production. Rioja often plays with combinations, mixing Tempranillo grapes with others like Garnacha and Graciano. Meanwhile, Ribera del Duero practices purity, usually using 100% Tempranillo grapes. With complex flavors of dried fig, cherry, vanilla and clove, we recommend pairing a glass with grilled meats, tomato-based pasta dishes and of course, cured cheese!
Txakoli from Basque Country
All the way up north in Basque Country, you’ll find Txakoli, a delectable dry white wine with a slight sparkle. Made with a grape called Hondarrai Zuri unique to the Basque region, you’ll find bustling pintxo bars full of locals grazing on aperitifs and a glass of what else, but Txakoli. To get the true Txakoli experience, we recommend you follow the footsteps of the locals into a Pintxo bar! Beautifully paired with seafood, it’s the perfect combo to sit back while you admire the spectacular Basque scenery, where lush green mountains meet the Atlantic coast.
Finally, we end our wine route in Catalonia, for a glass of celebratory sparkling Cava! While Cava is produced in various parts of Spain, it’s most commonly made in Penedes, a DO region right outside of Barcelona. Choose between rosé or white to compliment your seafood dish, cheese, paella, dessert…or simply by itself!
Oh, and one more thing. Don’t forget to raise your glass in the air and say “salud!” Now that you know where to find some of Spain’s most popular wines, where will you begin your wine journey? Written by: Casie Tennin September 6, 2017