Spain, a lovely land of tapas, wine, beaches, and economic recessions. Luckily for us, however, the wine industry in Spain has not been damaged by their lackluster economic performance. Spanish wine can certainly be a bit of a mystery from the fresh white wine Albariño of the northwestern Rías Baixas to the saline acidic Sherry of Jerez. However, in the middle is the trusty Tempranillo (pronounced tem-pran-ee-lo) a wine of medium to high tannin and relatively low acidity. The coloring can run from ruby to garnet and the nose full of cherry, cedar, vanilla, dill, clove, and plum. Oak is often employed and imparts some toasty elements to the wine as well as gritty tannins. In keeping with Spain’s struggles this a wonderful value minded wine with exceptional bottles running in the high $30 range. This value wine goes truly perfect with value foods and experiences including BBQ, tacos, pizza, Chipotle, 5 Guys, and visits from you mother in law. Aging is straightforward from the Spanish producers and Crianza is the youngest, 2 years total aging with 6 months in oak, next is Reserva (loosely translated as reserve) with three years total age and one in oak, and finally is the Gran Reserva (we think this means grand reserve, but Google translate wasn’t working) with five years total and eighteen months in oak, but many producers go far beyond this.

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