Chianti Classico: The black rooster is back

“Who cares, it’s just a Chianti”, responded the sales rep at one of the wine chain retail stores when I asked about the storage condition of the three older bottles of Chianti Classico that were on display. After engaging in a short conversation with her (and purchasing something else), I wondered if this was a common perception of the popular Tuscan wines among both wine … Continue reading Chianti Classico: The black rooster is back

Mencía: Spain’s answer to Pinot Noir?

I still have not met a Pinot Noir lover who hasn’t become a fan of Spain’s Mencía grape. Also thin-skinned, Mencía produces pale, light-to-medium-bodied, aromatic red wines with crisp acidity and notes of bright red fruits, flowers, herbs, and smoky minerality. Similar to Pinot Noir, it is a delicate grape variety and it’s very sensitive to terroir and its environment. A favorite of the sommelier … Continue reading Mencía: Spain’s answer to Pinot Noir?

The Rise of Spanish Rosé

A growing number of exciting rosé wines (“vinos rosados”) are coming from Spain.  Nowadays, Spain not only produces fresh, simple, fruity rosés for summer but also a new wave of serious, gastronomic vinos rosados with the capacity to gain complexity with bottle age.  Spain is the world’s second-largest producer (5.5m hl) and the leading exporter of rosé wines, and it has a centuries-old tradition crafting … Continue reading The Rise of Spanish Rosé

Spanish Winemakers are embracing old traditions

Spanish wines are undergoing a Renassaince, fueled by a newly-found self-belief in the unique combination of their land, their grapes, and the traditional know-how of their people across generations.Up to the recent past, Spanish winemakers always looked up to France as the gold standard and noticed how Italians used their deft marketing skills to build the image of Italian wine worldwide. During the last few … Continue reading Spanish Winemakers are embracing old traditions

The Volcanic Wines of the Canary Islands

A sub-tropical climate, phylloxera-free old vines, volcanic soils, spectacular landscapes, and a unique array of native grape varieties make the Canary Islands one of the most exciting wine producing regions in Spain. Despite their low latitude (28 degrees, similar to Southern Morocco), Canarian wines are incredibly fresh, with a pronounced minerality, and saline notes that speak to the vineyards’ proximity to the Atlantic Ocean. The … Continue reading The Volcanic Wines of the Canary Islands

Four Austrian Wine Regions to know

From the country that gave us Mozart, Klimt, Falco, The Sound of Music, and yes… Governor Schwarzenegger; we find world-class wines that combine intense fruit purity with a distinct signature style. In the last few years, Austrian wines have increasingly gained recognition by wine lovers and sommeliers alike, and should be on the radar for any wine enthusiast. In a previous post on Germany and … Continue reading Four Austrian Wine Regions to know

The Garnachas of Sierra de Gredos

The wine was light, ethereal, pure and at the same time powerful and intense, with beautiful red-fruit aromatics and an unusual wet stone, grainy minerality. It was a 2016 Bruja de Rozas from Comando G, my first ever Garnacha (Grenache) from the Sierra de Gredos, Spain, and I was blown away… Sierra de Gredos is a mountain range in the province of Avila, in central … Continue reading The Garnachas of Sierra de Gredos

Must-have Spanish Wines for your cellar

Spain is a country of great diversity, as evidenced by its multiple languages, landscapes, customs, food, and, of course, wines.  As discussed in a previous blog, Spain is going through a revolution in its vine-growing and winemaking practices. Producers are rediscovering indigenous grape varieties, regions, and forgotten vineyards, which is expanding the already rich list of different styles.  From the point of view of the serious wine … Continue reading Must-have Spanish Wines for your cellar

Five White Spanish grapes you should try

In my recent post on Rias Baixas, I pointed out that most people would mention Albariño, along with Verdejo from Rueda as the iconic Spanish white varieties. Though the country continues to be best known for its hearty red wines, there are dozens of exciting white grapes worth getting to know. This group includes a mix of cool climate varieties from rainy Galicia such as … Continue reading Five White Spanish grapes you should try

Rias Baixas: The Cradle of Albariño

Ask any casual wine drinker to give you the name of a Spanish white grape, and Albariño would most likely be at the top of the list. And no place is more closely identified with the variety as Galicia, in particular the region of Rias Baixas in the far northwest part of the country. The Land Galicia is part of an area known as “España … Continue reading Rias Baixas: The Cradle of Albariño