Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Spanish Wine: It's Synonymous with "Value"

If you're looking for value wines these days, I have one question for you: are you looking in the Spanish section?

When I was in Spain, I was struck over and over by the way the wines of the region were simple and straightforward in the best sense. First, Spanish wines represent great, great value. Second, they're food friendly. They go with the kinds of meals that we eat these days because even the reds are fresh and flavorful. And finally, they celebrate local flavors by growing indigenous grapes.

My latest Spanish wine, the 2006 Vionta Albariño Rías Baixas, exemplifies what I love about wines from the Iberian peninsula. (sample; you should be able to find it near you for $10-$25). It's got great taste, great value, and it's made from the native Albariño grape. This excellent QPR wine had a beautiful gold color. I smelled autumnal aromas of super-ripe apples and juicy pears. The apples continued on through the flavors, and there was a slighlty honeyed note as if wedges of Golden Delicious apples had been dipped in warm Clover honey. The wine left a juicy aftertaste in your mouth, and because of the excellent acidity it never got cloying or heavy.

We had our Albariño with some delicious homemade fish tacos with a lime-cilantro sauce that really paired nicely with the fresh apple and honeyed flavors of the wine. And the wine's juicy acidity handled all the different spices just perfectly.

This wine has a huge price swing depending on where you pick it up, but it is widely available. My parents found it in their local PLCB store, and all I can say is if you can find it in Pennsylvania, you can probably find it anywhere. If you can get this for less than $15 (which seems to be the average price point), I think you'll be very pleased with your purchase.

So if you're looking for wine bargains, don't forget to look in the Spanish section. And feel free to leave your latest Spanish wine tips in the comments below.


jesus said...

Hello wine lovers,

If you like spanish wines, you just have to try this spectacular rioja for less than 7 euros. It is difficult to find such a good wine for a lower price. Belive me....

Anonymous said...

I've been seeing a lot of love for Spanish Wines flying around lately. I saw this value focused piece the other day in the Orange County Register