Arriba! Sangria!

arriba-sangria

Sangria. Sahn-gree-yah. It’s hard not to say the word without a fleeting inclination to do some flamenco. With a name that evokes the Spanish word for blood (Sangre), Sangria is a fruit-and-liquor laced wine punch beloved by Spaniards and…well, just about everyone else. The tradition of Sangria can be traced back only so far to…

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…

Rioja

if-you-like-rioja

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

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…

Loire Valley Sauvignon Blanc

if-you-like-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…

Red Zinfandel, White Zinfandel

White Zinfandel is one of California’s all-time most-successful accidents. Zinfandel, the grape from which both red and white wine is made, is almost black in color. Although the vine is infamous for its unevenly-ripening berries (often, ripe black berries will hang next to a tart, green, small berry on the same bunch), White and Red…

High Altitude Vineyards

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Few factors affect the taste and quality of a wine more than climate. This broader term encompasses everything from altitude to weather. Given this season one of our episodes focuses on Malbecs from Mendoza, Argentina, we thought looking at how altitude affects wine was worthy of further examination. Malbecs grown in Mendoza, Argentina’s largest wine…

Paso Robles Zinfandel

if-you-like-paso-robles-zinfandel

Zinfandel has a colorful past. Even though it was long thought to be an indigenous American grape, sometimes dubbed “California’s own,” its origins are Croatian. Zinfandel’s origins were not known for certain until as late as the 1990s, when researchers at UC Davis and in Croatia worked closely to determine that Zinfandel is the same…

The South American Wine Industry

According to Hugh Johnson and Jancis Robinson’s seminal World Atlas of Wine, South America is, after Europe, “the world’s most important wine producing continent.” European vines were cultivated in Peru as early as 1531 – long before those vines reached any part of the New World except Mexico. South America’s viticultural landscape has been influenced…