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10 Things You Didn’t Know About Spanish Wine

A few weeks back we touched upon the basics of all things wine. However, it takes a little more than that to become a connoisseur. One way to expand that wine knowledge is to delve deeper and specialize in learning the details of particular wine or one particular region’s wine…Bet you didn’t know that Spain was the 3rd largest producer of wine in the world, right behind France and Italy. I promise you, Spain has a lot more to offer in the wine world than just a glass of Sangria!

1. Wine was introduced to Spain in 800 BC by the Phoenicians

2. At D.O Rioja and some others Wine is categorized as Joven: a young wine with little or no barrel aging, and Crianza, aged for a minimum of two years. Reserva is aged for a minimum of three years, and Grand Reserva is aged for five years. Half the minimum aging time must be spent in a barrel and the other, in a bottle.

3. Spanish Wine consumption used to be one of the highest in the world with over 70 liters per capita being consumed. However with the economic crisis hitting Europe pretty hard, those numbers have dropped significantly.

4. Spanish wines are classified by region (Denomination of Origin D.O), not by their grape.

5. The Denomination of Origin label guarantees the origin and class of grapes, as well as the methods use¬d to produce the wine.

6. Cava is the most famous sparking wine of Spain. What makes is different from champagne, as they both use the same production method, is the types of grapes used to make it. Both rose and white cava can be made from a blend of Xarel-lo, Macabéo, and Parellada grapes.

7. Spanish wines perfectly match all type of dishes. White wines from DO Rueda, Valdeorras or Rias Baixas are good with fish and sushi, Rose wines from DO Penedes or Navarra are for light meats or cheeses and Red wines from DO Rioja, Ribera del Duero, Monastrell for red meats and cheese.

8. Spanish quality-price ratio is unbeatable at any price range. A 10, 20, or 30 USD Spanish Wine is higher a quality than French, Italian or Chilean wines.

9. In most of Spain, Rose wines are drier than in other parts of the world.

10. Did you know that there’s many more Denomination of Origen in Spain than Rioja, Priorat, Rueda or Sherry? Check it out using this little map!

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