Tag: rioja wine

White Wines from La Rioja, are they any good?


To speak of a Rioja wine is to make it with distinction since it’s a DO that it’s famous all around the world and which groups more and more regions throughout Spain as time goes by. Traditionally, the wines of Rioja have been red, with different nuances, special flavors and potent blends on the palate. They are perfect mostly for meats and other foods related to hunting.

But for some years, the regulating council of La Rioja itself recognizes that things are changing because the white wines of Rioja are striking with fiercely, more than ever, bringing freshness and high-quality standards.

Although it may be seen as a novelty, it’s not, because white wines in this area have been proven and, in fact, they were the best and more abundant than reds back in the 17th century.

La Rioja is boosting these wines because beyond the consolidated reds, there is a world of white to discover. They are characterized by their complexity and variety, perfect to pair with many foods, both in summer and winter, or just any other time in the year. For example, young fresh and fruity white wines can be paired with seafood, pasta and rice, among others, while those white wines that are fermented in barrels go well with cured cheeses and blue fish. Long-aged whites are consumed with poultry, meat and stews.

For all this, the whites of La Rioja are reborn to bring more flavors to this DO. Would you like a glass of white wine?

 TAGS:Viña Tondonia Blanco Reserva 2002Viña Tondonia Blanco Reserva 2002

Viña Tondonia Blanco Reserva 2002



 TAGS:Capellanía 2010Capellanía 2010

Capellanía 2010

Go white with La Rioja wines


What do you think of when you hear of La Rioja? Probably the first thing that comes to mind is a red wine and oak barrels. But the truth is that in La Rioja there is also white wine, and oh boy they’re good! In fact, these past years they have been growing a lot and gradually have become a benchmark of Spanish white wines.

And, like everything in life, there are white Rioja wines for all tastes, from classic to modern, from avant-garde to more complex, going through young fruity or aged and strong. A world of white wine is elaborated in the region for over 2,000 years now, and during some periods like the 17th century, they became even more important than the red ones.

Today, however, Rioja whites have trouble overshadowing reds, which is not always fair considering the high quality of this type of wine in the region. So much so that the D.O. La Rioja is investing efforts to publicize these wines, both for its quality and the gastronomic richness they bring.

For example, a white young, fresh and fruity Rioja is a great choice to pair with pasta, seafood, salads, appetizers or lighter entrees; in the case of white fermented in barrel, nothing better than cheeses, smoked food and blue fish; and if it’s aged on barrel, you can enjoy something stronger like meat dishes and stews.

So, now that there are still several beautiful summer days, please enjoy this type of wine and give it a try at your table, even if it hurts you a bit to leave behind his little red brother for a few days. You will not regret it.





 TAGS:Allende Blanco 2011Allende Blanco 2011

Allende Blanco 2011



La Rioja according to Tim Atkin


One of the most famous and well-known critics on the international spectrum is British Tim Atkin who has a vast knowledge about La Rioja’s wine region. He recently published his first warehouse classification in the zone and decided to sort them according to very controversial criteria.

To make this whole classification, Atkin established 5 different categories based only on the quality of each cellar and their wine. It is a model inspired by the Bordeaux one, used since the 19th century in France and made up by Napoleon III to classify the Bordeaux Chateaux. 

Until now, no one had dared to use it in Spain, but Atkin has been the first one to do it, assuring that he will be actively updating his list.

After paying a visit to all of the cellars from La Rioja, he made the following classification:

  • First Category: Abel Mendoza, Artadi, Contador, Finca Allende, La Rioja Alta SA, López de Heredia, Marqués de Murrieta, Muga, Remélluri, Sierra Cantabria, Vinos de Telmo Rodríguez and Viñedos de Páganos.
  • Second Category: Artuke, Contino, CVNE, Marqués de Riscal, Ostatu, Palacios Remondo, Pujanza, Ramírez de Ganuza, Roda, Tentenubio, Valenciso and Viña Real.
  • Third Category: Amézola de la Mora, Basilio Izquierdo, Bodegas Bhilar, Castillo de Cuscurrita, Dominio de Berzal, Finca Valpiedra, Hermanos Peciña, Miguel Merino, Pedro Balda, Peña del Gato (JC Sancha), Rothschild/Vega Sicilia and Tobía.
  • Fourth Category: Baigorri, Biurko Gorri, Bodegas Bilbaínas, Bodegas de la Marquesa, Exopto, Gómez Cruzado, Marqués de Cáceres, Marqués de Terán, Marqués de Vargas, Olivier Riviër, Orben and Vivanco.
  • Fifth Category: Amarén, Barón de Ley, Benito Urbina, Carlos Serres, Eguren Ugarte, La Emperatriz, Lacus, LAN, Landaluce, Luis Cañas, Sonsierra, Torre de Oña and Crus Bourgeois.

There were some unclassified cellars, which would equal to Crus Bourgeois, such as: Aldónia, Bagordi, Bárbara Palacios, Beronia, Bodegas del Medievo, Bodegas Palacio, Campillo, Covila, El Coto, Faustino, Finca Nueva, Hacienda El Ternero, Ijalba, Ilurce, Izadi, Juan Carlos Sancha, Laventura, Leza García, Luis Alegre, Manzanos Wines, Martínez Lacuesta, Miguel Ángel Muro, Navarrsotillo, Ontañón, Paco García, Perica, Petralanda, Proelio, Puelles, Quasar, Ramírez de la Piscina, Ramón Bilbao, Santalba, Valdemar, Viña Bujanda, Viña Herminia, Viña Salceda, Viñedos de Aldeanueva, Viñedos Real Rubio and Zugober.

 TAGS:Luis Cañas Reserva Selección de la Familia 2008Luis Cañas Reserva Selección de la Familia 2008

Luis Cañas Reserva Selección de la Familia 2008 is a wine with a very good vintage in which the harvest was late compared to usual in La Rioja and in which wines have a fruity, fresh and aromatic profile.



 TAGS:La Rioja Alta Gran Reserva 904 2004La Rioja Alta Gran Reserva 904 2004

La Rioja Alta Gran Reserva 904 2004 is a red wine from this DO: Rioja is made with graciano and tempranillo of 2004 and has a volume of alcohol of 12.5º.



What will be the future of La Rioja?


Without doubt, the Rioja Designation of Origin is one of the best known of the country and its exports are unstoppable all over the world. In fact, we can find bottles of this DO in the best restaurants in London and New York, being already something with made in Spain quality.

This has been thanks to years of effort and dedication of the agents engaged in this sector, but they may now have some disagreements and the future of this designation not be entirely clear.

One of the fact that marked these disagreements is that the well known winery Artadi no longer belongs to the DO, and others are considering it. That’s because it is an appellation that encompasses many (perhaps too many) wines from different origins and prices, and that’s what’s not like some wineries of the designation, among other issues.

The same winery that no longer belongs to this DO, Artadi, explains that its project does not fit with the future of an appellation of origin which seeks only selling. Rather, at Artadi they want to promote something more familiar, that is, do something with care, small but differentiated.

Perhaps the Designation of Origin Rioja looks for other things and goes beyond. If they want to sell and talk numbers, they have it easy, since in 2014 they sold 384 million bottles, 106 million of them abroad. But many wineries want this differentiation that the DO doesn’t give, currently highly valued by consumers. So they are analysing where La Rioja is going with its wines, in which converge wineries competing in added value and in volume.

Meanwhile, the Regulatory Council sees it very clearly, as it defends the strength of the brand. They say it is a unique designation, “without surnames”. Some believe that there are also political reasons, but the protagonists reiterate that it has nothing to do. We’ll wait to see what happens in the near future.

 TAGS:Viña El Pisón 2008Viña El Pisón 2008

Viña El Pisón 2008: wine red with DO Rioja which blend contains tempranillo of 2008 and with 14º of alcohol content. 



 TAGS:Viñas de Gaín 2013Viñas de Gaín 2013

Viñas de Gaín 2013: a wine red with DO Rioja which blend contains tempranillo of 2013 and has an alcohol content of 14.5º.



The best value for the wines of Rioja


Rioja wine is the most popular wine in Spain, and one of the most recognized worldwide. Some of the best Spanish wines are produced each year in the Rioja. This beautiful region offers spectacular harvest (cheap and easy to drink wine) as well as great wines with the best value for money, some of them among the most appreciated by the critics. Do you want to taste them? Today we present you some of the best wines of the Rioja with the best value for money:

 TAGS:Luis Cañas Crianza 2010Luis Cañas Crianza 2010

Luis Cañas Crianza 2010 was chosen by the magazine The Wine Advocate as red wine with best value for money. The new vintage of this wine promises to follow in the footsteps of his predecessor.


 TAGS:Imperial Gran Reserva 2007Imperial Gran Reserva 2007

Imperial Gran Reserva 2007: The 2004 vintage of this wine Cune (CVNE) was recently chosen as the best wine in the world in 2013 by Wine Spectator. A gem for less than 30 ?


 TAGS:Viña Tondonia Reserva 2002Viña Tondonia Reserva 2002

Viña Tondonia Reserva 2002: This winery is specialized in Reservas and Grandes Reservas and therefore produces elegant wines, soft, harmonious and complex. This vintage was rated by Robert Parker with 95 points out of 100. One of the best in Spain for less than 20 ?.


 TAGS:Marqués de Cáceres Gran Reserva 2005Marqués de Cáceres Gran Reserva 2005

Marqués de Cáceres Gran Reserva 2005: A major advantage of Rioja wines is that this region produces Reserva and Gran Reserva wines at fantastic prices. Marques de Caceres Gran Reserva is a perfect example.


 TAGS:Viña Albina Reserva 2007Viña Albina Reserva 2007

Viña Albina Reserva 2007: you can hardly find a Reserva for about 6 ?. If it has the approval of most iconic Bodegas Rioja, what more could you ask for?


The summer wine festivals

 TAGS:Wine is one of the favorite drinks worldwide, and in summer the wine festivals are a way to raise awareness of the winemaking process to the highest quality standards, acquire excellent products, and try the local cuisine area, activities that promote tourism and create an atmosphere of hospitality and joy that invites back every year. Today I will show wine parties of 2 of the most active communities in this regard, Galicia and La Rioja:

Galician wine festivals

  • From 7 to the 9 of September La Festa do Viño no Pelete held in the parish of Covelo honors the Virgin of the Remedies annually.
  • From September 29th to October 7th la Festa de Vendimia is celebrated in its second edition, with wine tastings and octopus for attendees.
  • On August 3 the Infesta do Río, held in the village Monforte de Lemos.
  • From 23 to 25 August, the festa do Viño do Condado in his 53 anniversary with concerts, products and the best local wines to taste.
  • The Festa do Albariño, from 31 July to 4 August in the town of Cambados, with tastings of the best wines from the wineries.

 TAGS:Rioja Wine festivals

  • Rioja celebrates Rioja Harvest Festival – Fiesta de la Vendimia Riojana – from 21 September for a week to coincide with the Feast of St. Matthew; they develop a traditional ceremony on the Paseo del Espolón, where they is offer to the Virgin of Valvanera (patron of La Rioja) the first wine of the Harvest, and parade floats, food tasting, concerts, theater, street music and fireworks.
  • Also in the Rioja the Battle wine gives to talk about, this latest edition was held on June 29, while the Battle of clarete was held around the July 25.

Have you ever been in a wine fair? Like combining tasting and party? Today we recommend a large Galician white wine and a great red wine from Rioja:

 TAGS:Luis Cañas Crianza 2009Luis Cañas Crianza 2009

Luis Cañas Crianza 2009



 TAGS:Martín Códax 2011Martín Códax 2011

Martín Códax 2011

Spring is here! Long live the wine!

 TAGS:Spring is here! long live the wine! Yes, yes, do not look so surprised and let me explain you what I mean because I am sure you are going to understand it at first and I bet you that you will start feeling exactly the same way I do regarding this season… Once the last weekend of March is over, all I see reminds me of wine (in all its varieties, what I am going to hide it for?).

In spring the weather starts to give us a break and those cold winter temperatures give way to others, warm and delicious, perfect for tasting a chilled rose wine, a claret Designation of Origin Rioja (we do not need to look any further). What I mean is that kind of wine that makes you regret not to have one more bottle cooling in the fridge.

The arrival of warm weather coincides with the appearance of the first flowers, with their delicate aromas that remind me of those central European white wines which combine beautifully with cold starters and seafood dishes.

The flowers are beautiful, we rejoice to life with their colours, but many also cause us the dreaded hay fever of every year. Every spring we have to suffer until the summer starts. We spend more than half the day sneezing while we try to hide our big red nose. And whenever I think of something crimson with an intense and noteworthy nose I remember those wonderful Ribera del Duero red wines, I cannot help it.

In the coming weeks we will only be able to get rid of the symptoms of allergy to pollen when some clouds appear on the horizon and we enjoyed one of those rainy days. The raindrops pattering on the windows, while the temperature drops a few degrees, that smell of wet ground, those puddles … those puddles where drops falling make appear some small bubbles… Do not they look like sparkling wines?

I do not know if it will happen to anyone else or do I have to get it checked, but I am not able to go out at this time of the year without thinking about wine, so if you cannot beat them, join them. Long live the wine! Viva the spring! And to celebrate it let’s get some bottles:

 TAGS:Blanc PescadorBlanc Pescador

Blanc Pescador



 TAGS:Corte Viola Fragolino RossoCorte Viola Fragolino Rosso

Corte Viola Fragolino Rosso

5 DOs from Iberian Peninsula and their best food pairing

 TAGS:The Iberian Peninsula gives us endless possibilities to pair its culinary offerings with its excellent wines. I am a fan of most of them both and so in the following lines we will do a review mini pairing guide style going through 5 denominations of origin from the peninsula with their best culinary combinations.

We will start by DOCa Rioja. My proposal is Azpilicueta red wine and potatoes with chorizo stew. Chilies cannot be missed for this combination which for me is irresistible even during the summer. The Azpilicueta is a typical Rioja wine and gives the aroma and exact sweetness to the strong flavors of such a delicious and easy dish with which we match it here today.

Do Rias Baixas: Organistrum, from Bodegas Martin Codax. It is perfect to pair with any delight coming from the sea as everybody was already imagining. For example some grilled clams, a fish stew or a good plate full of cockles. Caution: one bottle is not enough, this wine is highly addictive, like happens with seafood.

DO Jerez: Lustau Solera Reserva, ideal for desserts. This is the best way to put the finishing touch to a great evening. Here everyone can let their sweet tooth instincts take over but I would recommend some ?tocino de cielo? (a heavenly mixture of egg yolk and sugar which cannot be any better).

Portugal is also part of the Iberian Peninsula, so let’s finish this mini food pairing guide with two of their wines.

From DO Douro: Quinta da Soalheira, a wine which mixes three grapes: Touriga Nacional, Touriga Franca and Tinta Roriz from vines over twelve years old. It is an excellent representative of the wines from Douro region. I would combine it with a ?canja a Doentes? (a type of soup which is cooked with chicken meat) or with a ?bacalhoada? (cod and potatoes, not to be confused with the ?feijoada?, a meat dish similar to a stew and therefore much heavier than the other one).

And from DO Porto: Vista Alegre, Bodegas Vallegre, perfect for desserts. I hereby would make a selection tasting including some of the most famous Portuguese sweet treats like candies from Setubal, with that orange taste, Belém pastries and a black bolus portion, chocolate could not miss in this pairing, because I think it’s the flavor that best goes with Porto wine and the one which contributes best to highlight its nuances.