All posts filed under: Spain

Red blends: Greater than the sum of their parts

While researching the current popularity of blended wines in preparation for a talk at the 2017 International Bulk Wine and Spirits Show about blends that begin life as bulk wine, I discovered white blends emerged as the exception rather than the rule. Consumer preferences for monovarietal white wines—Sauvignon Blanc is currently the fastest-growing white variety—are the likely drivers there, but that doesn’t stop winemakers from creating successful proprietary blends. In 2014, blended wines accounted for more than 40 percent of new entries to the U.S. market, with the lion’s share going to reds (29.3 percent) and whites accounting for just 1.9 percent. When surveyed, domestic consumers said they liked blended wines because they are experimental, interesting and trendy with better value. But it’s not the classic blends from regions like Bordeaux, the Southern Rhône, Valpolicella and Rioja they’re referring to; it’s the under-$25 blends that are marketed as nothing more than just that—blends. One striking example of success with modern blends is Dave Phinney’s Locations Wine portfolio, which goes even further by eliminating vintage and relying …

Edetària: Benchmark wines of Catalonia’s Terra Alta DO

Terra Alta is the most westerly of Catalonia’s DOs which are clustered around Barcelona and include Alella, Conca de Barberá, Costers del Segre, Empordà (on the border of France), Montsant, Penedés, Plà de Bagés, Priorat (DOPQ) and Tarragona. Both Cataluña and Cava are broader designations that also apply to the Catalonia region.

Rioja’s Enotourism Ready

Interested in exploring the Spanish wine region of Rioja?  I’ve got some firsthand, no-fail recommendations for tasting, dining, accommodations and cultural enrichment. If you begin your stay in Haro, there’s really no need to drive if you want to visit the eight wineries clustered around the historic Haro train station. They’re all within comfortable walking distance of the town center although most of the Spanish tourists I spotted were driving and taking advantage of the ample parking. The winery tasting rooms that I visited in Haro – La Rioja Alta, Muga, CVNE and Bodegas Bilbainas – and those at outlying wineries – Marqués de Riscal, Bodega Dinastia Vivanco, Torre de Ona – are all stylish, comfortably appointed and well equipped for English speaking guests. Muga’s tasting room was stocked with high-quality goods and teaming with eager shoppers who were offered gracious and informed hospitality. Walk-in tasting fees at CVNE were very modest and I had a quiet table to taste all eight wines on offer at my own pace. Lunch time, however, can pose a challenge as all the restaurants …

Q & A with CEO Sid Patel, The International Bulk Wine and Spirits Show

San Francisco continues to be one of the world’s most important destinations for leading players in the wine industry, so it’s no surprise that a major conference dedicated to the private label and bulk trade is making its way to the city on July 26-27.

Taste of Ribera del Duero

  Deborah Parker Wong, AIWS presents four to six wines from the DO Ribera del Duero in a free tasting designed to engage and educate wine enthusiasts at every level.     Home to the famous Vega Sicilia and Tinto Pesquera bodegas, the Ribera del Duero appellation occupies a rocky plain midway between Madrid and the northern coast of Spain. Tempranillo dominates the arid vineyards of the Ribera del Duero, representing 95% of all wine production, but other grapes such as grenache, cabernet sauvignon, and malbec also play a vital role in the region’s winemaking production.   While steeped in a rich and illustrious history, the Ribera del Duero is a relatively young D.O. with just as many internationally acclaimed producers as hidden, off-the-radar gems. Great wine can be had for almost any price and the quality here remains consistently high across the board from this “river bank of the Duero.”  The 2012 consumer campaign includes wines from the following producers.  Wines are provided based on availability. 2009 Monteabellon   “Avaniel” 2009 Creta  2009 Vina Sastre  2008 Finca Villacreces “Pruno” 2008 Aalto  2008 Emilio …