Spain

  • The Value of PDO Labels for Spanish Wines

    The Value of PDO Labels for Spanish Wines

    The Spanish wine industry has long experienced tension between innovation and tradition, particularly concerning the DOC system and efforts to modernise. This raises the question, does the DOC system truly have positive impact on wineries and consumers? New research Determining the influence of belonging to a wine protected designation of origin on profitability, by researchers…

  • Wines from Spain Tasting

    Wines from Spain Tasting

    The 36th Annual trade/press tasting of Wines from Spain took place in May 2024, featuring UK importers and Spanish wineries. The event showcased over 245 Spanish wineries and 789 wines. A highlight of the event was the Cava de Guarda Superior Masterclass, led by Master of Wine Peter McCombie. This session explored aged Cava and…

  • Understanding Spanish Wines

    Understanding Spanish Wines

    Spain is one of the world’s largest wine producers, consistently ranking within the top three countries, with an annual production that typically exceeds 30 million hectolitres. The country’s vast vineyard area, the largest in the world, allows for a wide range of wine styles, influenced by the varying climates and soils across different regions. The…

  • Marques De Valido Gran Reserva Rioja

    Marques De Valido Gran Reserva Rioja

    The Marques De Valido Gran Reserva Rioja 2014 comes from a family winery operated by a father, son and cousin team. This is a Gran Reserva, which is typically only made in the finest vintages and spends two years maturing in oak barrels followed by another three years in the bottle. This wine has an…

  • Ángeles de Amaren

    Ángeles de Amaren

    The Bodegas Ángeles de Amaren Rioja 2017 is a modern interpretation of Rioja Alavesa, consisting of a blend of 85% Tempranillo and 15% Graciano grapes. I thought I’d try this wine again having previously singled it out at a Rioja tasting, although the vintage I received via retail is 2017, rather than 2019 as was…

  • Cava All-Time Sales Record

    Cava All-Time Sales Record

    Cava has achieved a new sales record, reaching 252 million bottles, marking a growth of 1.09% from the previous year. This growth was primarily driven by a 4.02% increase in domestic sales, despite a slight 0.25% decrease in international sales. The decrease in foreign markets was attributed to economic challenges, including inflation in Europe and…

  • The Evolving Landscape of Rioja Wines

    The Evolving Landscape of Rioja Wines

    In the Guardian Newspaper, Fiona Beckett discusses the evolving landscape of Rioja wines, highlighting a shift towards new styles that offer more fruity, less oaky notes in reds and introduce a breed of floral whites. This change comes as a response to declining sales in the UK, despite its historical popularity. Innovations include higher altitude…

  • TV Wine Expert Hails Lidl’s £5.99 Cava as ‘Best Bargain of the Year’

    TV Wine Expert Hails Lidl’s £5.99 Cava as ‘Best Bargain of the Year’

    In an article by Bristol Live, a wine from Lidl has been spotlighted by Saturday Kitchen’s wine expert as the “Best bargain this year.” It’s the Arestel Cava Semi Seco, a sparkling wine that boasts a price tag of only £5.99. During a recent episode of Saturday Kitchen, aired on BBC One on the morning…

  • Faustino V Reserva

    Faustino V Reserva

    Faustino V Reserva 2018 Rioja is aged for a minimum of 24 months in American oak barrels. The previous vintage was highly regarded by James Suckling, receiving a commendable score of 93, and the wine itself has been adorned with multiple accolades, including a Silver Medal from Mundus Vini, the Bacchus Award, a Gold Medal…

  • The Best of Rioja 2024

    The Best of Rioja 2024

    Tim Atkin MW hosted a wine tasting event on 13 February 2024 that featured over 300 wines from leading bodegas, many of which came to London specifically to showcase their wines. This event marked a first in either London or Rioja, with such an extensive collection of wines being presented for tasting. Tim dedicates three…

  • Lidl Italian and Iberian Wine Tours

    Lidl Italian and Iberian Wine Tours

    In February 2024, I attended a Lidl wine tasting which showcased wines planned to be introduced during the Italian and Iberian wine tours in February and March 2024, respectively. Additionally, a selection of wines from Lidl’s existing collection was also being shown. Wine tours at Lidl are the wines displayed in wooden crates, each accompanied…

  • Rioja Tasting

    Rioja Tasting

    In the midst of a December devoid of media wine tastings, I found myself inspired to organise a Rioja wine tasting. Consisting of seven family members and friends, all of whom share my enthusiasm for wine, we embarked on a journey through the flavours of Rioja. Accompanied by an array of tasty Spanish tapas, our…

  • Understanding Ribera del Duero

    Understanding Ribera del Duero

    Ribera del Duero, a wine region in Spain, is mainly known for its red wines. Situated along the Duero River in the northern plateau of the Iberian Peninsula, Ribera del Duero benefits from a unique climate, higher altitude and a rich winemaking heritage. The region gained its Denominación de Origen (DO) status in 1982. The…

  • Feliz Rioja, November 2023

    Feliz Rioja, November 2023

    This November, the UK will have Feliz Rioja, a month-long event set to highlight the prominence of the Rioja wine-producing region across various outlets in the UK. Independent retailers, restaurants and wine bars throughout the country have registered their participation. With over 100 outlets involved, the event aims to provide a comprehensive exposure to Rioja…

  • Specially Selected Rioja Rosado

    Specially Selected Rioja Rosado

    Aldi’s Specially Selected Rioja Rosado 2022 has a DOC certification. While it’s advertised as being pink, I think the wine has a more golden hue. My wife, who picked this wine from Aldi, likens its taste to that of rosehip cordial. It’s a dry wine with a hint of fruitiness, making it ok on its…

  • French Winemakers Destroy Spanish Wine

    French Winemakers Destroy Spanish Wine

    The Telegraph newspaper has reported that, in a striking move against what they see as unfair competition, around 500 French wine makers from Narbonne and Perpignan stopped lorries importing Spanish wines at the border town of Boulou. They emptied thousands of gallons of rosé and smashed 10,000 bottles of Spanish sparkling wine on the roads….

  • New Free Rioja Wine Academy Course

    New Free Rioja Wine Academy Course

    The Rioja Wine Academy, backed by the Rioja DOCa Control Board, has launched a free introductory online course called Rioja Enthusiast. This course is the academy’s first aimed at consumers and wine lovers with no prior knowledge of wine. The course covers the fundamentals of Rioja wine in just four hours, including topics like reading…

  • Spain’s Historic Low Wine Harvest

    Spain’s Historic Low Wine Harvest

    Spain’s wine industry is grappling with its smallest harvest ever recorded, largely due to a series of extreme weather events. The 2023 grape harvest has been severely impacted by droughts, hail storms and heat waves, affecting vineyards across the country. Spain is expected to produce only 34.25 million hectolitres of grapes this year, representing a…

  • Sainsbury’s Cava Brut

    Sainsbury’s Cava Brut

    Sainsbury’s Cava Brut is a great find for those who are looking for a middle ground, taste-wise, between Prosecco and Champagne. Fermented in the bottle using the traditional method, this Cava features a blend of Macabeo, Xarel-lo and Parellada grapes. While the reviews on Sainsbury’s website are a mixed bag, I suspect that some of…

  • Espartero Reserva Rioja

    Espartero Reserva Rioja

    This 2017 Reserva, from Bodegas Riovinsa, previously won a bronze medal from the International Wine Challenge, where it was described as having notes of herbs, tea leaves and red cherries. It was also a Bronze Winner at the 2023 Decanter World Wine Awards. Since its establishment in 1926, the winery has been operated by three…