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Spanish Wines, what to look for?

Look for these quality designations on the Spanish wine label.

Crianza: Crianzas spend between 6-12 months in oak casks.

Reserva: Reservas are aged a minimum of 1 year in oak casks and 2 years in bottles or a combination of both with a minimum of one year in casks.

Grand Reserva: These wines are only made in execptional years, undergo extensive aging, with a minimum 2 years in oak and 3 in the bottle.

Here are some of the important wine grapes of Spain:

Tempranillo is the main wine grape of the Rioja. It produced refined wines that are smooth, fruity, aromatic and ruby red. It's the prominate grape used in reserva and grand reserva wines.

Garnacha is from northern and central Spain. It's mostly used in rose wines and has a rich boquet. It's also used to enhance the body and alcohol content of red wines.

Verdejo is one of Spains best white wine grapes. It produces fruity aromatic fresh wines and primarily grown in the Rueda region.

Palomio Fino/Pedro Ximènez are 2 grapes that are basic to Sherry winemaking in southwestern Spain. Palomino Fino grapes are used in the Fino and Manzanilla Sherries and Pedro Ximènez grapes adds sweetness to the Oloroso and Cream Sherries.

Xarel-lo/Parellada/Macabeo are 3 grapes used in the production of Cava, Spains sparkling wine. Xarel-lo adds color and body, Parellada adds acidity and Macabeo gives Cava its crispness.

Source: Wines from Spain News, Trade Commission of Spain 

How about some Spanish cheese to go with the wine?  (Click here) to go to the Spanish cheese page.

rev. 06/12

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