Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Hola Verdejo…And Other Spanish Wines

My sister introduced me to Spanish wines a couple of years ago.  I believe the first one I tried was a Tempranillo but I’m not sure.  Since then I have bought a couple of Spanish wines here and there but I don’t buy them regularly.  In my effort to expand my wine tastes, I decided to pick up three bottles on my last trip to Total Wine.  There were plenty of affordable options to choose from and since I love to pass on a good deal, a new article topic emerged!

The first one I tried was a white wine.  It was a Verdejo from the Palma Real winery in Rueda, Spain.  The card next to the display explained that it was an unoaked white wine.  The vintage was 2009 and the bottle cost $11.99.  The first glass I drank by itself.  I was pleasantly surprised at the floral and citrusy nose and the crisp acidic flavor.  It was very pleasant to drink on a hot Florida summer day. The next night I paired it with grilled chicken, brown rice pilaf and a salad.  It went wonderfully and I later found that grilled chicken was a recommended pairing along with grilled seafood, shrimp scampi and pasta salads.  Shrimp scampi is a favorite in my household so I will definitely pick up another bottle of this wine the next time I make it.

The next wine I tried was one of the two reds I had chosen. It came from the Bodegas Montecillo winery in Rioja.  It was a 2007 Tempranillo which was aged for more than a year in oak barrels and then aged for an additional year in the bottle.  It cost an affordable $9.99.  It was a beautiful garnet color and had the aroma of fresh fruit and vanilla.  As I sipped, I detected the taste of dark berries with a slightly spicy and woodsy hint.  It was fresh and medium bodied.  I drank it alone at first but then paired it with a grilled flank steak.  The two went quite well together.  Other recommended pairings were meat dishes, mild cheeses, paella, and spicy dishes.  My husband liked it a lot so I am sure this will find its way into our cart again.

The last wine I tried was another Tempranillo from Rioja.  This one came from the Monte Clavijo winery.  It was a 2010 vintage and cost an even more economical $8.99.  The flavors were very similar to the one above…fresh with hints of cherry and berry.  It was light and very delightful on its own so I didn’t end up pairing it with anything but they say it pairs well with pasta and meat dishes.  My husband liked this one as well so maybe I will try it the next time I whip up a batch of pasta with homemade sauce.

I know there are many more Spanish wines out there so I think will continue to say “Hola” to the different varieties and I encourage others to do the same.

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