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Salud to Spanish Wines

By Elizabeth Leader Smith, March 18, 2012  |  Meet the Blogger  |  More Posts by Elizabeth Leader Smith

Long under-realized, wines from Spain have been enjoying explosive growth and popularity.

From low river bottoms to dry hills to cool mountaintops, topography varies greatly in Spain, creating one of the world’s most diverse wine regions. As a result, if you want to get familiar with Spain wines, it’s going to take more than one or two sips.

This spring we are celebrating Spain’s wine heritage by featuring 12 exceptional wines. (All are priced under $20, so you can celebrate too!) From crisp Whites to deep, rich Reds, learn more about Spanish wines and enjoy each region’s bounty. Let’s get started! Here are six of our wines from Spain along with a recommended cheese pairing:

Castaño Monastrell from Yecla – made from organic grapes from 30-year-old vines, this easy drinking red wine has a bright, fresh raspberry bouquet with dense cherry flavors on the palate.

This cuvée matches hearty flavors such as beef and game.

About Yecla:

Wines from this region are known for their balanced nuances and aromatic complexity.

Cheese pairing: Solé Gran Queso.

This nutty cheese is modeled in the style of Spanish Manchego.

Castillo de Monséran Garnacha from Cariñena – this New World-style grenache is a soft, round red with herbal overtones, bursting ripe berry and plum fruit flavors.

It pairs with tomato-based pasta dishes.

About Cariñena:

Extreme temperatures and low rainfall are the perfect climate for growing excellent Garnacha grapes.

Cheese pairing: Drunken Goat.

From Murcia, Spain and cured for 48 to 72 hours in red wine, it makes perfect sense to enjoy with more red wine!

Maximo Tempranillo from Vino de la Tierra de Castilla – with aromas of plums and red berries with tobacco and vanilla notes, this velvety red also has hints of licorice and mint.

It pairs perfectly with red meats and roast lamb.

About Vino de la Tierra de Castilla:

With approximately 3,000 hours of sunshine a year and ideal climate conditions for ripening fruit, this region grows a vast variety of grapes.

Cheese pairing: Mahón.

From the Balearic island of Menorca, this creamy choice is one of Spain’s few cow’s milk cheeses.

Hermanos Lurton Verdejo of Ruedo – rounded and soft on the palate, this wine has an intense nose of white-fleshed fruits and cut hay and a soft finish. 

This White is ideal with lighter fare such as chicken, chilled seafood salads, fruit desserts or medium-soft cheeses.

About Rueda:

Verdejo grapes grown in this region’s continental weather and gravelly soils have origins that date back to the 11th century and King Alfonso VI.

Cheese pairing: Capricho de Cabra.

Heat until just slightly warm and spread on crostini to enjoy this lush cheese made from the high-fat milk of Murciana goats.

Spartico Tempranillo of Utiel-Requenafirst wine from Spain to meet the USDA Certified Organic NSA (no sulfites added) requirements, this fruity, medium-bodied violet black wine has smoky, salty nut aromas with sugared berry sweetness and tartness with a firm, powdery tannin finish.

Pair with grilled meats and vegetables or chili.

About Utiel-Requena:

This region is known for making wines with outstanding personality.

Cheese pairing: Manchego, aged six months.

This sweet, creamy sheep’s milk cheese is a Spanish classic.

Faustino Tempranillo from Rioja this young tempranillo has aromas of black and red fruits with light hints of vanilla and cocoa.

A versatile Red; serve alongside poultry and pork.

About Rioja:

Winemakers here practice a tradition of blending grape varieties from different vineyards and towns within the region.

Cheese pairing: Robusto.

This aged Gouda-style cheese accentuates nutty, caramel flavors with fruit and high tannins in glasses of Cellers Can Blau Cariñena Garnacha Syrah or the light oak in Faustino Tempranillo.

Over the next few weeks, we’ll be posting more about wines from Spain, the regions where the grapes are grown and, of course, some recipes for tapas that are perfecto. We hope you’ll follow along.

Can’t wait? Then learn more about and sample wines from Spain at in-store tastings (check your local store calendar for details), as well as during two different Twitter Tastings.

Go to our wine page for more information about the Twitter Tastings and use the hashtag #WFMwine to follow the conversation.

Participants must be 21 years of age or older.

Spanish Wines Twitter Tasting 1 – Mar. 22 at 7 p.m. CST Spanish Wines Twitter Tasting 2 – Apr. 19 at 7 p.m. CST

Thirsty for more? Visit wholefoodsmarket.com/wine for pairing ideas, recipes and more information on these diverse wine regions.

Have you discovered Spanish wines or better yet, have you had the pleasure of tasting your way through a Spanish wine region? Let us know.

Category: Wine & Beer

 

4 Comments

Comments

Cathy says ...
Gracias. Love Spanish wine & am so glad you are offering such a variety. Wish our market in Georgia would hold these yummy wine-tastings.
03/18/2012 2:46:16 PM CDT
janejohnson says ...
@Cathy: No worries Cathy! You join the twitter tastings from HOME! You just buy the 3 bottles of wine they suggest and then follow along on Twitter by searching and following this tag #WFMwine !
03/22/2012 9:35:58 AM CDT
mary moore says ...
I bought your 2004 / 365/ Merlot Red Wine- Vomp de la Tierra de Castilla - a product of Spain. I absolutely love it. Do you still carry this wine and if you do ( I hope so) what store in Houston would I be able to get it from. Thank you for your time. Mary Moore
12/27/2012 11:24:12 PM CST
Nikki - Community Moderator says ...
@MARY - Our products vary between store locations. I would suggest calling the store closest to you in Houston to see who has this in stock. You can find their contact info at http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/stores/list.
12/28/2012 10:32:23 AM CST