Spanish wines are prized for their diverse range of red, white, rosé, and cava wines. However, of the numerous wines produced in the country, which ones are the most popular? Let’s take a look at some of the best Spanish wines, every wine partisan must try.
Did You Know?
Spain accounts for about 15.5% (3,000,000 acres) of the world’s vineyards, making it the country with the largest area dedicated to viticulture. It is also the third largest wine producer in the world, after Italy and France.
Spain is well-known for its high-value wines, and over a hundred countries import wines from different regions in Spain. Spanish wines have earned worldwide acclamation for their tantalizing flavor and aroma. When you talk about Spanish wines, don’t purchase by type, instead purchase by region. Different regions in Spain are known to produce special wines with unique flavors. Most Spanish wines are of the red variety; however, there are also lovely white and rosé varieties to try out.
This diverse nation offers plenty of outstanding whites and reds, with many well-priced offerings. The best part about Spanish wines is that they aren’t as expensive. So, you can easily manage to purchase a bottle of fine wine, without burning a hole in your pocket. Now, for the difficult part―the best Spanish wines to try out! With wines, it’s not possible to segregate them so easily. What may seem exquisite to one, may seem extremely overpowering to another. So, it’s mostly about personal preference.
Best Spanish Wines
Spanish wines can be segregated into four basic types: tinto (red), rosado (rosé), blanco (white), and cava (sparkling) wines. Moreover, since different regions in Spain are known for their typical wines, let’s combine both and take a look at some Spanish wines you should try out.
Spain has always been known for its fruity, full-bodied, mellow Rioja wines. In fact, Rioja is Spain’s most famous red wine. La Rioja is Spain’s major red wine region, situated in the north-central region of the country, about 200 miles south of France’s Bordeaux vineyards. No wonder Rioja wines have a Bordeaux style to them! These wines are prepared from a blend of superior quality grapes like Tempranillo, Garnacha, Tinta, and Mazuelo, with Tempranillo being the major grape variety used in the wine.
These rich and vibrant wines have lovely vanilla characteristics, due to the American oak used in their making. Moreover, their earthy aroma, with overtones of tobacco leaves, spice, and dark berries is simply outstanding. Rioja wines are also loved for their food-friendly nature. The newer versions of Rioja involve the use of Hungarian or French oak for aging, instead of the conventional American oak. This gives the wine a more smoother and rounder characteristic.
Must-try Rioja Wines
- Marqués de Riscal Gran Reserva
- Marqués de Murrieta Castillo Ygay Gran Reserva Especial
- Inspiración Valdemar Maturana
- Bodegas Sierra Cantabria, Crianza
Popularly served as a pre-meal apéritif, Sherry is a rather underappreciated wine (tagged as grandma’s drink) that is gaining popularity today. It is a fortified wine, only produced in Jerez, Andalusia (Spanish triangle), southwestern Spain. Besides these regions in Spain, sherry is also produced in the US and Australia; however, sherry produced there cannot be called sherry. They cannot be considered to be the same. Sherry is a versatile wine that goes well with absolutely anything like pasta, salads, cheeses, etc.
This wine is mainly produced from the Palomino Fino and Pedro Ximénez grape varieties. Once the fermentation is complete, the wine is fortified with brandy, so as to raise the wine’s alcoholic content. Sherries can be classified into five styles: Fino (dry and light), Manzanilla (dry), Amontillado (dry to medium-dry), Oloroso (dry to medium-dry), and Cream (sweet). Besides ranging from very dry to sweet, sherries, like other wines, have a wide price range as well. While some are very expensive, others are pretty affordable.
- NV Gonzalez-Byass Jerez-Xérès-Sherry Tio Pepe ‘En Rama’
- Equipo Navazos NV La Bota de Manzanilla 42
- Bodegas Dios Baco S.L. NV 20 Yr. Baco Imperial Amontillado
- NV Gutierrez Colosia Jerez-Xérès-Sherry Oloroso Sangre y Trabajadero
Cava, a sparkling wine, often confused with champagne, comes from the area of Penedès in Spain. This fizzy wine is produced in the same way and with the same techniques, by which champagne is prepared. However, cava is still not champagne, and as per the European Union law, it cannot even be referred to as ‘Spanish champagne’, because champagne is the trademark for sparkling wine produced only in France. Cava is available in either white or rosé types, and is popularly prepared from the grape varieties: Xarel-lo, Macabeo, and Parellada.
Like champagne, Cava contains bubbles of carbon dioxide, which gives it its fizzy attribute. Moreover, it also ranges in dryness, from brut nature, extra brut, brut to seco, semiseco, and extra seco. When the wine is poured into bottles, a mixture of sugar and yeast is added to it, wherein the yeast converts sugar into carbon dioxide. Cava is traditionally had at weddings and various other occasions, and is often paired with desserts. Since it is much cheaper than the pricey champagne, it’s a popular effervescent wine you’ll find in most American stores.
- Elyssia Gran Cuvée Brut
- Segura Viudas Brut
- Maria Casanovas Brut de Brut
- Petit Albet Brut, Albet i Noya
There are scores of different wine brands out there for you to try out. Taste them, and discover which one seems to tantalize your palate the most. You can have them as they are, or pair them with different meals or desserts, to make the experience even more exciting and fulfilling!