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Wine World

Spanish Wines
In BARCINO we have the gratest collection of Spanish wines in Manila. Therefore we share with you basic information about Spain and its wine.

For a bad night, a mattress of wine.
- Spanish proverb

In Spain, you won’t go to a winery to get your vino on. You will go to a bodega. And in several Spanish bodegas, you will have the option of ordering traditional European-born favorites like Cabernet or Chardonnay, but then again Spain has some very delectable red, white, and sparkling wines of its very own.

These splendid wines include the robust Rioja, the sparkling Cava, and the sugary-sweet sherry. The great taste of Spanish wines is not necessarily a surprise, but the low price you’ll pay for them will be. So just when you thought the only Spanish wine worth sipping was the kind with loads of tangy fruit floating in it, Spanish bodegueros blew the cork out of that idea.

MAJOR SPANISH WINE REGIONS


North to south, fine wine regions scatter the southwest European country of Spain. The major appellations in Spain are Penedès, Rioja, Navarra, Ribera del Duero, and the “Sherry Triangle,” which encompasses the regions around the three well-known sherry-producing cities of Jerez de la Fronterra, Sanlucar de Barrameda, and Santa Maria.

THE GRAPES


The top grapes of the Spanish kind are as follows:


Tempranillo

If any grape defines Spanish reds, the Tempranillo is it. Used in the Rioja reds and those from the Ribera del Duero region, its juices bring plum and black currant beauty out in Spain’s most fabulous red wines.

Garnacha Tinta
Often crushed with the Tempranillo to make delightful Rioja red medleys, the Garnacha Tinta, known as a Grenache in France, makes light-colored, full-flavor wines on its own.


Pedro Ximénez
“Sherrrry, Sherrrry Bay-Bee,” now that’s Mr. Ximénez’s song! His soulful juices are often blended with Palomino and Moscatel to create some of Spain’s sweetest sherries. His sherries combine rich color, dried fruit aromas, and sweet velvety raisin flavors.

Moscatel
In Spain, this sweet little sugar dumpling of a grape marks its glory in mostly sweet and very floral wines although it’s been known to blend well for some dry whites as well. All its wines are fragrant and flavored with fruity raisin-esque qualities.

Palomino
A plate of tapas and a glass of Palomino-based sherry make for a mouthful of yummy Español at its best. Palomino sherries are rich with dry and tangy almond flavors.

HOW TO ORDER/BUY

Since Spanish wines are unique to Spain, even seasoned wine drinkers have a hard time choosing from its extensive wine lists. So aspiring Spanish wine lovers ought to get familiar with the label information. See the “Legal Quality Code” section below for the labeling requirements, but start here to get to know some of the vino español terminology.

Wine types:

  • Tintos are reds
  • Claretes are light reds
  • Rosados are rosés
  • Blancos are whites
  • Cavas are sparkling wines, similar to champagne

Where to start:

  • Red lovers: Try a Rioja Crianza or Reserva or a Ribera del Duero Crianza or Reserva
  • Red or white lovers: Try a Penedès Crianza or Reserva
  • Sherry lovers: Try a Jerez Fino or Amontillado
  • Champagne lovers: Try a Cava Brut or Seco

LEGAL QUALITY CODES

Spain has specific laws in place to strictly control wine quality and ensure each wine’s origin, authenticity, and style. The governmental Regulatory Council (Consejo Regulador) standardizes wine labels with regard to:

1. Classification

  • Denominación de Origen Calificada (DOC) – Superior quality, only awarded to Riojas so far.
  • Denominación de Origen (DO) – High quality.
  • Vino de Mesa – Table wines.

2. Quality levels, defined by aging

  • Gran Reserva: The best vintages aged a minimum 2 years in oak and 3 in the bottle.
  • Reserva: Aged a minimum of 1 year in oak and 2 in the bottle or a combination of both.
  • Crianza: Aged 6 to 12 months in oak.
  • Sin Crianza: Not aged in oak or aged less than 1 year in oak.