From Rioja to Galicia, Spanish wines are as diverse as the land that they come from. Lush mountainous regions in the north produce zingy whites like Albariño and Txacoli, while blockbusting reds grow on the dry plateaus of Castilla y León.
Some of the best Spanish wines come from Rioja DOCa (Denominación de Origen Calificada). The region is best known for its Tempranillo-led reds. Aged in American oak, they are silky smooth with notes of vanilla, black cherry and plum. There are also some excellent rosé (rosado) Riojas. Intensely fruity and lighter than their red counterparts, they often taste like strawberries and cream.
Another region worth knowing is Ribero del Duero DOP (Denominación de Origen Protegida), a challenger to Rioja that gained fame during the 90’s. The main grape here is Tinto Fino, a local version of Tempranillo, and wines are produced in a similar way to Rioja.