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Spanish wines: what to drink?

To begin with-a little statistics that will show us the complexity of the issue.
So, Spain is the country with the largest number of vineyards on the planet. 15% of the world’s vineyards are located here. For wine production Spain ranks third in the world, behind only France and Italy. In Spain, more than a hundred certified wine regions, in which several tens of thousands of wine producers produce hundreds of thousands of brands of this drink. And here is how in all this diversity to understand how to choose exactly what will give pleasure to you personally, while leaving in the purse of money and even a snack? Here is a bit information, which must you in this help.

General fact
Spain produces white, red and rose wines, but it is the red Spanish wines are among the best in the world. They are usually quite dense, fragrant, full-bodied, with a balance of fruit and oak notes.
You won’t actually find semi-dry or semi-sweet wines in Spain. Almost all Spanish wines are dry by default, with the exception of dessert wines (Vino de postre, vino dulce, vino de licor), which, on the contrary, are very sweet. Nothing in between. By the way, sweet wines in Spain are very good, especially if you use them correctly: after lunch or dinner, in a small amount with dessert.

Spanish wine
Spanish wine-wine cellar in Penedes

In most Spanish supermarkets products are presented only by large manufacturers in the lower and middle price categories. For good wines from small family wineries need to either go to a specialty store (enoteca), or go directly to the winery.
When choosing a Spanish wine in the supermarket, you can start from the price tag. In the price range of 2-4 Euro sold simple table wines that it is possible to wash down lunch, nothing special they are not expecting; 5-10 Euro range for “dining” wine of higher quality; from 10 Euro and then start wines that you can taste and look for different notes and nuances of flavor and aroma.

Classification of Spanish wines. What to look for on the label?
When buying wine, try to give priority to the one that has on the label there are magic abbreviations DO or Doca (DOQ). This suggests that the wine is made in one of the regions with certified confirmation of quality and origin. There are exactly two regions with the highest Doca certification (DOQ) – Rioja and Priorat.
If you prefer aged wines, look for the words Crianza, Reserva or Gran Reserva, they indicate that the wine spent in the barrel from 6 months to a year and a half or more.

The main wine regions of Spain
Spanish wine
Spanish wines — the Vineyards of Priorat

Rioja (DOCa RIOJA)
Rioja-this is perhaps the most famous Spanish wine both domestically and abroad. The main pride of Rioja-aged red wines from Tempranillo grapes (Tempranillo). Rioja can be found in a large assortment in any supermarket in Spain, prices start from 2 euros per bottle, and for 6-8 euros you can buy a pretty good wine.

Priorat (DOQ PRIORAT)
Wine region in Catalonia, which in recent years literally broke into the world elite. Here, too, they make mainly red wines, but of a very different type than in Rioja — more tart and rich, with character, not overexposed in a barrel and retained a powerful fruity aroma. It is in the Priory that the most iconic wines of Spain are made — for example, the Hermitage of Alvaro Palacios (L’ermita, from 1000 euros per bottle). The two main grape varieties-Garnacha (Garnatxa) and Carinyena (Carinyena). Read more→

A good budget alternative to wines from the Priory can be the products of the neighboring region DO MONTSANT,which was recently recognized as the best in Spain in terms of price-quality.

Ribera del Duero (DO RIBERA DEL DUERO)
Another region known for its red wines. Although Ribera does not have DOCa status, the region surpasses the more titled Rioja in a number of indicators. Family silver Ribera del Duero-bodega Vega Sicilia, which is one of the legends of Spanish winemaking.

Spanish wine
Spanish wines-cava

Cava (DO CAVA)
The famous Spanish sparkling wine produced almost entirely in the Penedes region near Barcelona. The traditional method Champenois in combination with local varieties of Xarello (Xarel·lo) and Macabeo (Macabeo) and climatic conditions has made the cava the most exported sparkling wine in the world. The main reason — the price: cava is much cheaper than the same quality champagne from France. Read more→

Sherry (JEREZ DO)
Iconic Spanish fortified wine produced in the South of the country, in Andalusia.

Albarino (Albariño, DO RIAS BAIXAS)
Lovers of white wines recommend the products of this Galician region of Albarino grapes. Fresh fruit wines with floral notes — the perfect drink for a hot summer Spanish day.

In addition to the aforementioned appellations of origin, in Barcelona it is possible to meet such wine from the Catalan wine regions, as Terra Alta (TERRA ALTA DO), Costers del Segre (DO COSTERS DEL SEGRE), Ampurdan (DO EMPORDÀ) — all they are also worth while to taste.

Finally, we want to note that Sangria( Sangría), which many also consider a kind of wine, is not — it is rather a wine cocktail of table wine infused with fruit with sugar, lemonade and strong alcohol.

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