A out line of Spanish Wine
If you say Spanish wine you think Rioja, or Cava at a wedding, but why. Spain has 72 recognized wine producing regions; 50 percent of all the EECs vineyards lie in Spain, they grow a wide diversity of grapes, mostly of a native origin, a lot of them I have never heard of. I think the problem is that we see just the two kinds of wine from Spain, the good stuff and the cheap local wine. And we do not look any feather than that, If is seems a little tart add some lemonade or sparkling water and you are done. What I want to do is just shine a light on what wine Spain has to off with a broad brush stroke so you can start to see that there is more than really good and really cheap.
Rioja , from the area around Logroño, is Spain's best known wine and available in most shops and restaurants around the world . Navarra and Catalunya are regions which also produces the champagne-like cava Galicia too, in the temperate northwest is producing some notable white wines .There are many kinds and it is a bit like trying to pick a favourite so I will not try but I will talk about the other local wines that I have come across.
But there are many others and to get your head round them it is easy to under stand the classification system, or Denominación de Origen (DO) system, and that will explain a lot
Denominación de Pago or DO de Pago: Individual single-estates with an international reputation.
Denominación de Origen Calificada or DOCa/DOQ Denominació d'Origen Qualificada in Catalan: Regions have a track record of consistent quality.
Denominación de Origen Denominació d'Origen in Catalan – DO,mainstream quality-wine regions. There are 62 wine regions with this status.
Vino de Calidad Producido en Región Determinada VCPRD climbing the in quality there are 5 wine regions with this status.
Vinos de la Tierra VdlT which do not have which may use a regional name.
Vino de Mesa, table Wine , This wine has no vintage or area designation on the label just 'Produce of Spain'.
Now if you know is a mark of quality then you need to know what grapes are used and that should help in deciding what wine you want. Now the only real way to get to know wine is to taste and rink wine . And I have had the odd bottle of what was classed as Vino de Mesa that has been for the price, one springs to mind bought by mistake that was really very good, and just over a euro.
So the most commonly used gapes are as follows and the basic characteristics that the grapes have.
Tempranillo: Red , produces wines of deep-color, but not necessarily high in alcohol. The Tempranillo is lower in acidity wines made solely from this variety will hold back their color but not loose fruit over time.
Garnacha: Red. from Garnacha tend to have a more fruity, sweet flavour, which makes them perfect for Rosés. Red wines produced solely from this grape are not usually produced;
Mazuelo: Red. rich in colour and high in tannins and acidity.
Viura: White. the wines made from this grape today are lighter in style, drier, relatively higher in acid, The grape is prone to oxidation and rot, this produces a more full-bodied, highly extracted, perfumed wine Spain traditionally uses Malvasia for dry, oak-aged wines that are very concentrated.
Xarello: White. use in the production of Cava ( Spanish Champagne ).
Parellada: White. Also has a fruity quality and high acidity, which makes it pleasant and, therefore an integral part of Cava.
Now all you have to do is get in the shops and see what you can get. Spanish wine is as complex as any wine produced in any other country of the world. So try something more that a Rioja or a Cava, try some thing different you might be supried to see how much more there is .