2 July 2016

What I drank on holiday in Spain

If you read my blog, you'll see that I recently went on holiday to Almeria in Spain

When we arrived I was completely flummoxed as to what wine to buy! I don't often drink Spanish wine, for no reason other than that I don't know that much about it. I also think that Spanish wines have got a bit of a bad reputation in England as "cheap plonk"!

And, my lack of knowledge became very evident when we tried some of the wines. We bought quite a lot of turkeys from the supermarket, quite a few I actually (shock horror!) poured away.

Nearly all the restaurants we went to offered almost exclusively Spanish wines with no description of taste, dryness or style. And, likewise, very few of the bottles in the supermarket had tasting notes on the label (in English or Spanish).

So I thought I'd let you know what we drank and actually enjoyed, in case you go to Spain sometime soon.

Guti Verdejo from de Alberto

Before we went to Spain I'd recently enjoyed a Spanish Verdejo by Franck Massard which I got from Naked Wines. His Herbis Verdejo is from the Rueda region of Spain and most of the wines we enjoyed were Rueda Verdejos. This De Alberto Guti was was crisp and dry and went perfectly with our seafood platter. It also had a white, plastic cork which I found very delightful. It cost us about 10 Euro and I don't think it is currently available in the UK. 

Colección Cristina Calvache Blanco de Alboloduy

It is possible that part of the reason I enjoyed this wine so much was the sun, sea and Sangria. However, at the time I loved it! A very pale yellow wine, fruity but balanced with acidity. Lovely flavours of melon and apricot. We had it very, very cold and I would guess it is probably best served this way. This wine is actually grown in Almeria from a grape I have never tried before called the Jaén Blanco. Worth a try.

Jose Pariente Varietal Verdejo
Another Verdejo from the Rueda region. It smelt slightly of aniseed so I was concerned it was going to be sweet. However, it was fruity but citrusy. I found it to be very crisp and dangerously drinkable. I think we paid about 7 Euro for the wine and have found the same wine in the UK on the Selfridges website for £14.99.

Matsu El Recio 2013 Toro

My husband had seen this wine in Majestic before we went on holiday. Each of the bottles carries a photo from three generations of wine growers. The "El Ricio" wine means 'the tough one' and is grown from wines that are 90-100 years old. Not only did the bottle look really cool, the wine itself was delicious. The Tempranillo grape was very silky, velvety and smooth with lots of black fruitiness. We enjoyed it with some steak and it went perfectly. Retails at £13.99 in Majestic, we bought it for half the price in Almeria.

Spain has a reputation for cheap plonk. And, yes there was lots of that. You could easily buy bottles of red and white wine for 3 or 4 Euro. However, most of the ones we enjoyed were a bit more expensive than that. But, even in the restaurants, we found the wines to be really reasonably priced and much affordable in the UK. However, you have to be careful what you buy as a lot of the white wines are very sweet and the red wines can be quite harsh. 

1 comment:

  1. Abby, before we go on one of our trips we always do some wine research about the area. For our Christmas 2015 trip to Almeria we had read about how Ribera del Duero was a rising star red wine to rival Rioja so asked about it in every restaurant and tapas bar we went into. It got us a good reception and some excellent wines. On a recent trip to Budapest we had read about the Furmint white grape and got many appreciative reactions from waiters, often leading to being given 3-4 wines to try before we ordered!
    We use Winesearcher app and website to research regions and towns etc we are visiting, NOT to look up specific wines. For example we are going to France for a month from Saturday staying in Alsace, then Pommard, then probably Chinon. Using Winesearcher I entered France/Alsace/Turckheim and then got lots and lots of information including cooperatives to visit. Pommard I know really well, Chinon too, so will be visiting "old friends". B.