Start Exploring Spanish Wines

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spanish wines

Gary Fisch, of Gary’s Wine & Marketplace, and I made some New Year’s Resolutions and one of his was to drink more Spanish wines.  So when I stopped by recently he had three waiting for me.  I know.  Tough day at work.

Geoffrey Brooke, head of Spanish wine purchasing, joined us and was an encyclopedia of all things Spain

There’s a ton of stuff to know about Spain but we’re going to take it slow.

A few fun facts…then we drink…

  • Spain is a peninsula so the climate is very different from region to region.  But most of the time it’s super hot in the summer, then really cold in the winter
  • Wine was introduced to Spain in 800 BC by the Phoenicians
  • Tempranillo is the signature wine grape of Spain.  It’s indigenous and dates back to before the time of Christ.  Many will argue that old vines produce great wines.  You decide.  (November 8, is International Tempranillo Day so we will celebrate.)
  • Pablo Picasso’s inspiration for the cubism movement came from his time in a town south of Barcelona, according to many reports. And you can argue that you can get elements of the local people and vineyards in some of his works.
  • One of the best things about Spanish wine is that many wineries age it wine for you – first in oak barrels and then in the bottle. So you don’t have to wait to drink it. Here’s how you know: You’ll see the terms Joven, Crianza, Reserva, or Gran Reserva on the bottle.  That tells you how long it was aged.  Joven is a wine that hasn’t been aged much at all. While a Gran Reserva has been aged the longest.
  • Finally, they are still super cheap!

Now listen and enjoy!

The wines we tasted:

Emilio Moro Tempranillo, $19
Milu Ribera Del Duoro, $11
Avante 2011, $10

A vineyard map of Spanish Wines

Spanish wines regions

 

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Cent’ Anni….or Salud!