Milda, one of The Perfect Cellar experts talks about her recent visit to Wines of Spain tasting in London and gives a brief lesson on the regions and wines of Spain.
[caption id="attachment_1446" align="alignright" width="220"]
Image from Spear Communications[/caption]
Alongside the current sunnier Spring weather, London has been celebrating 25th anniversary of “Wines of Spain
” tastings. Wines of Spain tastings are trade focused and always attracts a great amount of visitors, including wholesalers, retailers, sommeliers and press.
In Old Billingsgate on the 20th March, visitors were able to sample already known and loved wines from regions such as Rioja, Ribera del Duero and Catalunya, as well as discover new and up-and-coming Spanish wines.
For me, Wines of Spain tasting is always feel more of a pleasure than work. I try to attend the tasting annually and each year the familiar scents of Albarino and mouth-coating richness of Priorato wines put a smile on my face.
I must admit that Spain is one of my favourite wine producing countries in the old world. It is extremely versatile. If you fancy a spicy, traditional deep red, Rioja is a number one choice. If you are looking for a crisp and fresh white wine with a tangy zesty flavours to accompany a plate of fresh seafood Albarino is an excellent match. However if fruity, light and fragrant red wine is what you are after, I would suggest a Mencia from Bierzo. Some producers use carbonic maceration to enhance the bursting berry and fruit character and make it even more enjoyable.
Despite all the different styles of wine that can be found in Spain, I would like to introduce to you to a few of my (many) favourites. I have a feeling that soon enough our portfolio will boast a couple more of these Spanish gems
Situated in a celebrated Spanish region of Galicia, Rias Baixas might look like a challenge to pronounce, however it makes things much easier knowing that the Albarino grape comes from here. Style wise, Albarino is similar to Vinho Verde that comes from Portugal. Interestingly, the regions are extremely close together, hence have similar climate, grape varieties and soil characteristicsioja
Wines from Rias Baixas are made from fresh, fruity and slightly aromatic varieties, such as Albarino and Loureiro. Crisp, clean and zesty wines, definitely worth swapping your Vinho Verde or Muscadet to a white from Rias Baixas this year!
If you are exclusively a red wine drinker these are excellent wines for the summer. As you may guess, wines from Toro are not for the fainted hearted! Known mostly for inky, silky and opaque reds, that may not be the best choice for the teeth. It is hard not to appreciate the array of flavours present, from dark forest fruit to confectionary and jammy hints. These are wines with fantastic structure and power.
There is obviously a reason why they call the main grape Tinto del Toro (blood of the bull), also known as Tempranillo in the rest of Spain. Wines that I always venture to as my last stop in a tasting as I know that the harmony and aromas will linger with me for long after I leave the tasting. A winner region for me.
The region with a name that may result in breaking your tongue while trying to pronounce it. In fact, few “tasting” glasses of wine later I found myself practising my Basque quite well. It is pronounced Cha-ko-li. Not that difficult after all, is it? A small region located next to the French border, which belongs to the Basque country. Known so well for their gastronomic achievements and innovations, Basque country was also recently put on a map for their extremely good quality wines. I believe it only makes sense to produce local wines that Ferran Adria and Elena Arzak would be proud to add to their wine lists.
I have sampled lovely Txakoli white wines, that have a distinctive character and heaps of individuality. They are wines of purity and complexity if made in a fresh and zingy style with a slight spritz or aged in oak for increased complexity. Txakoli wines are definitely the ones to put on “next wines to try for any wine enthusiast.
Rioja, the queen, or shall I say the king, region of Spain. As many Riojas that I have already tried, I still cannot refuse to try more. As many different styles you would find in whole Spain, you would also find in Rioja region alone. Traditional and modern Rioja styles are both distinctive in their own right. However one of my all-time favourite must be the 6 Cepas 6 range from Bodegas Perica found in our own cellar. Made in a modern style, both white and red Riojas are complex, structured and well balanced. The white Rioja always astonishes me
, as trying it at first time it comes across as a rich, creamy and nutty. However try it with spicy Chipotle tiger prawns and it will represent you with a lovely aromatic, floral and citrusy bouquet. Being a foodie myself, I just can’t help myself but adding Riojas to my dinner party table.
Keep reading the blog for announcements of new Spanish wines in our portfolio soon.