Spain has always offered good value when looking for full flavoured and full bodied wines. It’s native grape varieties burst with flavour after they have spent the summer basking in the warm Mediterranean climate.
So which of these native Iberian grape varieties should be on your drinking list this summer?
Fresh, light and lively. A fantastic drop to enjoy with seafood or just on it’s own.
- Style: light-bodied white wine
- Expect to spend: £12–£20
- Regions of interest: Rias Baixas
Try it if you like: Sauvignon Blanc, Dry Riesling, Grüner Veltliner
You could say this is Albarino’s less know sister. Aromatic and punchy, often aged in oak with a creamy texture.
- Style:medium-bodied white wine
- Expect to spend: £12–£30
- Regions of interest: Valdeorras, Bierzo
Try it if you like: (lightly-oaked) Chardonnay, dry Loire Valley Chenin Blanc
AKA Macabeo, when it’s good, it’s very good. Full bodied, oak aged, creamy with dried fruit flavors. This is the principle grape of white Rioja.
- Style: full-bodied white wine
- Expect to spend: £10–£25
- Regions of interest: Rioja
Try it if you like: (richly-oaked) Chardonnay, Rhône whites, orange wine
Big and bold, known as Grenache in most of the rest of the world. This is quickly toppling Tempranillo as the red grape to be seen drinking.
- Style: medium-bodied red wine
- Expect to spend: £12–£16 (for decent) and £20–£50 (for the good stuff)
- Regions of interest: Calatayud, Campo de Borja
Try it if you like: Zinfandel, California Pinot Noir, Cotes du Rhône
AKA Mourvèdre. Creates intense inky coloured reds, with notes of black fruits, oak aging gives depth along with spices and earthy tones.
- Style: full-bodied red wine
- Expect to Spend: £10–£17 (for decent) and £20–£50 (for the good stuff)
- Regions of Interest: Jumilla, Alicante, Yecla
Try it if you like: Malbec, Cabernet, or Shiraz
Spanish wine delivers time and time again. The quality of wine you get for your money means you can get something excellent for under £20. With a little knowledge, you can always find a grape variety perfect for any occasion.
Find out about wine tasting events at The Plough, www.spitwineschool.co.uk
Blog By: James Thewlis.@jamesthewlis
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