Rooted in centuries of tradition, Spain is a country with diverse and distinctive wines, including an exciting array with excellent value.
The Spanish government guarantees the authenticity of its wine by designating each with a region of origin or Denominacion de Origen (D.O.). The laws behind these distinctions define the location, grape used, maximum yields allowed, aging requirements in bottle and barrel and alcohol content. More than 60 wine regions have unique designations offering a world of diversity for the wine drinker.
Spanish cava had been produced in the Penedes region of Catalonia since the late 19th century using the same winemaking method as the honored Champagne but with indigenous grapes. The resulting wine is a fresh bubbly at half the price of many inexpensive Champagnes.
- NV Segura Viudas Brut Reserva, Spain (about $12 retail)
- NV Sumarroca Cava Brut, Spain (about $19 retail)
Albarino is stealing the limelight for white wine around the world. It is produced and grown in the northwest corner of Spain in the Rias Baixas region, which is cooler than other regions in the country and contributes to the crisp, fragrant characteristics of this wine.
- 2010 La Cana Albarino, Spain (about $16 retail)
- 2009 Abadia San Campio Albarino, Spain (about $25 retail)
The Rioja region, known the world over for its red wines, produces several distinct dry roses, which beg to be discovered.
- 2010 Rene Barbier Rose, Spain (about $10 retail)
- 2010 Marques de Caceres Rioja Rose, Spain (about $14 retail)
Rioja is the most recognized of Spain’s red wines. In recent years, the region has experienced tremendous growth due mostly to the production of exceptional wines offered at a reasonable price. These wines are produced from the tempranillo grape and are fresh, fruity, robust and complex.
- 2008 Campo Viejo Rioja Crianza, Spain (about $13 retail)
- 2008 Condesa de Leganza Crianza, Spain (about $18 retail)
Often overlooked or discounted due to its undeserved reputation as low in quality and overly sweet, Spanish sherry deserves a second look. Today, Spanish producers are bottling some of the most luscious, rich and smooth sweet wines in the world.
- Dry Sack 15 Year Old Sherry, Spain (about $30 retail)
- Fernando de Castilla Oloroso Sherry, Spain (about $40 retail)