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. Here are the six more of our wines from Spain along with a recommended cheese pairing. Learn more about the other six wines in our previous post.
Protos Tinto Fino (Tempranillo) from Ribera del Duero – this spirited tempranillo is bright, ruby red with notes of dried red berries, sweet spice, toasted oak and vanilla. Match it with savory flavors such as cured meats, artisanal sausage and bacon-wrapped scallops.
About Ribera del Duero: Winemaking in this region dates back over 2,000 years to the Roman era.
Cheese pairing: Harbison. Lush, decadent and sure to become an American classic, this soft-ripened cheese is wrapped in spruce bark.
Más de LedaTempranillo from Vino de la Tierra de Castilla y León – a fresh, succulent red with aromas of red candied fruit and licorice, this tempranillo also has a touch of cinnamon and spice. Try it with barbecued pork spareribs, roasted stuffed peppers or spicy sausage.
AboutVino de la Tierra de Castilla y León:Previously known as Old Castile, this region is a mix of flat and open plains surrounded by hills and mountains. Their dry, hot summers and long, cold winters impart plenty of character to their vines.
Cheese pairing: Mitibleu. Spicy bold sheep’s milk blue cheeses are rare and exciting, and this is no exception!
Palacios Remondo La Vendimia Garnacha Tempranillo from Rioja – this lively, fragrant red blend of grenache and tempranillo has supple aromas of fresh orchard fruit, wild berries and ripe blood oranges, with additional notes of sweet spice and raspberry jam.Serve it with roasted meats or smoked ham.
About Rioja: The Cantabrian Mountains help isolate and protect the vineyards from the fierce winds that are typical of northern Spain.
Winemakers here practice a tradition of blending grape varieties from different vineyards and towns within the region.
Cheese pairing: Naked Goat. This buttery aged raw goat’s milk cheese is made in Murcia, Spain.
Castell de Raimat Albariñofrom Costers del Segre – fresh and well-balanced, this dry white has intense aromas of citrus, dried flowers and spices.Pair withrich fishes such as salmon, either cooked or in sushi.
About Costers del Segre: Translating to “the banks of the River Segre,” this region was designated just a few decades ago.
Blending local grapes with recently planted French varieties result in wines with unique personal character that are considered among the most unusual in Spain.
Cheese pairing: Morbier. This classic raw-milk mountain cheese from France has a supple texture and luscious creaminess.
Cellers Can Blau Cariñena Garnacha Syrah from Montsant – this crowd-pleasing blend of carignan, syrah and grenache delivers a mouthful of fruit along with notes of mineral, lavender, blueberry and plum. Aged in French oak, this Red is tasty and well balanced; perfect with paella, stewed or roasted meats.
About Montsant: Taste aromas and fragrances from the countryside.
Known for powerful Reds similar to those from Priorat, wines from this region are complex and food-friendly.
Cheese pairing: Robusto. From Holland comes this aged Gouda-style cheese.
Accentuate nutty, caramel flavors with fruit and high tannins in glasses of Cellers Can Blau Cariñena Garnacha Syrah from Monsant or the light oak in Faustino Tempranillo from Rioja.
Monte Oton Garnacha from Campo de Borja – plump, velvety and reminiscent of Pinot Noir, this fruity Red offers exuberant plum, blackberry and tangerine flavors that are accented with vanilla and licorice.Pair it with rich tapas, spicy sausage or chili.
About Campo de Borja: Considered “the empire of Garnacha grapes”, wines from this region contain a structural and aromatic complexity due to the diversity of microclimates and soils that enrich the nuances of the grapes.
Cheese pairing: P’tit Basque. This sheep’s milk cheese comes from the Pyrenees.
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 wholefoodsmarket.com/wine 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 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 tried any of these Spanish wines yet? Which wine is your favorite and why?