An Introduction to Spanish Wine Classifications

Spain is organized into wine districts which are recognized on wine bottles by a label indicating the Denominación de Origen, or Designation of Origin. The DO system guarantees the wine’s precise origin, the grape variety or varieties used, and production methods employed. It is a quality control system put in place by law by the…



Riojas have a lot in common with Bordeauxs. Both wines are made from a traditional distinct and time-tested blend of a few different varietals. Any wine classified as a Rioja will be a Tempranillo-based blend that incorporates smaller amounts of Garnacha, Mazuelo, and Graciano grapes. Rioja is especially known for the notes of vanilla and…

An Overview of the Spanish Wine Industry


Both in quality and quantity, Spain is a world-class producer of wines. Currently there are close to three million Spanish acres sown with wine grapes, making it the most widely planted wine-producing nation. Worldwide, only France and Italy manage to bottle more wine than Spain. The discrepancy is due to Spanish vineyards’ tendency to have…

The Early History of Wine in Spain

Many species of grapes are native to the Iberian Peninsula, where they have grown wild for thousands of years. The first grapevines to have been cultivated for wine production were likely planted by the Phoenicians around 1100 B.C. in the area of Cádiz in the south. Phoenician viniculturalists taught wine-making techniques to local inhabitants of…

Getting a Bargain at the Wine Shop


  Wine Expert Stephanie Carraway gives tips on how to bargain with your local wine shop

Tips on Pairing Wine and Cheese


Wines and cheeses have a lot in common. To start with, they are both fermented liquids. Wine, as we know, is fermented grape juice. Cheese is fermented milk. Like wine, cheeses come with an array of flavors, textures, and characteristics. A general guideline for constructing great food and wine pairing involves pairing “like with like”….

Tips on Serving Champagne


Wine expert Emilie Perrier discusses how to serve Champagne to maximize your enjoyment of this wonderful wine. Wine Expert Emilie Perrier on Champagne

Pairing Wine with Take-out Part 1: Indian, Chinese and Thai Food


Wine does not have to be reserved for special occasions – or even for a home-cooked meal! It can be enjoyed with any type of food, any day. As always, the number one rule of wine pairing is to make sure you like what you’re drinking. (A famous New York City chef only drinks red…

Loire Valley Sauvignon Blanc


When considering Sauvignon Blanc from Sancerre and Pouilly Fumé, it can be hard to find comparisons because these wines stand out relative to Sauvignon Blancs produced in other parts of the world. Many in the wine world consider these wines to be the absolute best expression of the grape because they manage to showcase all…

Working with Your Sommelier


A lot of people say they are intimidated by sommeliers – don’t be – they’re there to help you! It is their job to help you find a wine you’ll enjoy, and with your help they can do just that. Often times the sommelier will start by asking you what kind of wine you like….