Spanish wines are something you should be sipping on if you aren’t already doing so. Some of the best white varietals include: Albariño, Viura, Verdejo, Xarel-lo (Cava grape), while the best reds are: Tempranillo, Cariñena, Garnacha, and Mencía. In Spain, you can go to any restaurant or bar and simply order Tinto (red) or Blanco (white) and have yourself one of the best local wines by the glass for 2.50€. When I went to Spain, not only did I have the wonderful opportunity to taste many wines from the regions of Ribera Del Duero, Rueda, and Cataluña, but I was able to see just how fantastic these wines are and it completely confirmed why I am “bottle to the face” in love with the Wines of Spain!
North Central Spain: Ribera Del Duero, DO Rueda, DO Torro, DO Cigales, and many more winemaking areas lie within this region of Spain. I was on a trip with Cámara Valladolid, where fifty wine professionals from all over the world had the opportunity to taste, sip, and savor the wines from this area. Valladolid is simply stunning and a very fun, modern city. The winemaking areas however, were even more beautiful and the winemakers welcome you with open arms and full glasses!
If you read about my day, with one of my favorite winemakers: Casi, who owns and operates the stunning winery, Bodegas Peñafalcon in Peñafiel, Valladolid Spain, then you know I received a day of food, wine, and fun! Here he took me to see where they have the running of the bulls every year, into local wine shops to see his wine, and to a great tapas spot where I tried many of the local Spanish dishes; it was one of the best days ever! The wines of Peñafalcon are award winning wines that I hope make it here to the USA soon (if you’re an importer… contact me and I will introduce you) because they are wines you will want to try. In the meantime you can simply fly to Madrid and find your way through Spain and head on over to Valladolid where you will find the wines, and have the chance to visit the beautiful winery.
Another winery I fell in love with, who produces some beautiful Verdejo (white grape varietal) and sparkling verdejo. Bodegas Felix Lorenzo Cachazo is a family owned winery that has been making wine for over 60 years, and I had the pleasure of meeting Eduardo and Angela- brother and sister. Angela is the winemaker and Eduardo handles the marketing for the winery. The town of Rueda is quite small, but the vineyards are beautiful and breathtaking. I was over in October 2015, so everything was picked and the vines were turning brown, if not already brown, but I was pleasantly surprised to find an accidental bushel of grapes left on one of the vines. The grapes were tart and delicious, but of course when made into wine… they taste much better! At the winery I was able to try some verdejo straight from the barrel and what a treat that was, sipping wine with the team behind the beautiful Carrasviñas, Entreflores, and Mania labels.
One of my last evenings in Valladolid, I met Winemaker: Beatriz Heredia of Winery Sanz Muñoz. These wines are beautiful and I truly love each and every one of them, however her sweet personality and even sweeter wine stole my heart! Ocho Tumbado De Málaga al Infinito is made from Muscatel and Pedro Ximén grapes, and is out of this world, delicious! The wine is sweet, seductive, and has a nose of fig and caramel with notes of dried fruit, chocolate, and toffee notes on the palate. She is young and has a vibrant personality with a heart of gold and I recommend trying some of these wines by visiting the winery and spending a day drinking wine and taking in the incredible views!
After my stay in Valladolid, I could not pass up the opportunity to visit the famous and beautiful city that is Barcelona. Visiting Spain was always a dream of mine, and it came true! The best part was that while in Barcelona, I was able to try some wines of the Cataluña area. One of the best places to see, sip, and discover some great Spanish wines from this area is not only to go tapas tasting at each and every restaurant in Barcelona, but to also visit one of the best wine shops: El Celler d’Estruc where you will find a welcoming staff, award winning local wines, beers, and olive oils, and a gorgeous greyhound (dog) who watches over the shop! Cava is one of my favorite styles of wine from this area of Spain, so for those who love the bubbles, this area of Spain is for you! Some of the best Cava producing wineries such as Segura Viudas, Freixenet, and Pere Ventura are within driving distance and are must visits if you have some time to see, explore, and taste.
Spain is a beautiful country with some stunning wines that you need to start buying. The prices of these wines are ideal for anyone within a budget ranging from $10.00-50.00 +. There is literally a wine within every price range, and I guarantee you will find a wine you love. Please pair responsibly!
If you’re in the NYC or NJ area, you can Sip Spain with me and pair some great wines with some Spanish cuisine in your home. Inquire at Sommcity@gmail.com about pairing packages, pricing, and available dates!