Spain is known for its rich and diverse wine culture, offering a wide range of flavors and styles. As we enter 2023, it’s the perfect time to explore the must-try Spanish wines of the year. Whether you’re a wine enthusiast or just starting to discover the world of Spanish wines, this guide will introduce you to some top picks that should be on your radar. From bold and robust reds to crisp and refreshing whites, there’s something for every palate to enjoy.
Exploring Spanish Wine Regions
When it comes to Spanish wines, the country’s diverse wine regions offer a wealth of options. From the renowned Rioja region in the north to the up-and-coming Priorat region in Catalonia, each region has its own unique characteristics and grape varieties. Some of the top Spanish wine regions to explore in 2023 include:
- Ribeira Sacra
- Rias Baixas
Rioja: The King of Spanish Reds
Rioja is arguably the most famous wine region in Spain, known for its exceptional red wines made predominantly from the Tempranillo grape. These wines are typically aged in oak barrels, resulting in complex flavors of red fruit, oak, and spice. The region is divided into three sub-regions: Rioja Alta, Rioja Alavesa, and Rioja Oriental, each with its own distinct terroir and style. Some top Rioja producers to look out for in 2023 include Marqués de Riscal, CVNE, and Bodegas Muga.
Priorat: A Taste of Catalonia
The Priorat region, located in Catalonia, has gained international recognition for its high-quality wines. The region’s unique slate and quartzite soils, known as llicorella, contribute to the distinctiveness of its wines. Priorat is known for its powerful red wines, often made from a blend of Garnacha (Grenache) and Cariñena (Carignan) grapes. These wines exhibit intense flavors of ripe berries, licorice, and mineral notes. Some top producers in Priorat to try in 2023 include Alvaro Palacios, Clos Mogador, and Mas Doix.
Exciting Spanish White Wines
While Spain is often associated with its bold red wines, the country also produces exceptional white wines that shouldn’t be overlooked. These wines offer crisp acidity, vibrant flavors, and a refreshing finish, making them perfect for warm weather or pairing with seafood dishes. Some top white wine regions to explore in 2023 include:
- Rias Baixas
Rueda: Home of Vibrant White Wines
Rueda, located in the Castilla y León region, is known for its vibrant and aromatic white wines made primarily from the Verdejo grape. These wines showcase flavors of tropical fruits, citrus, and herbs, with a crisp and refreshing finish. Rueda wines are perfect for outdoor gatherings or enjoying as an aperitif. Some top Rueda producers to try in 2023 include Naia, José Pariente, and Menade.
Rias Baixas: Albariño Heaven
Rias Baixas, located in the Galicia region of northwest Spain, is famous for its white wines made from the Albariño grape. These wines are known for their crisp acidity, vibrant citrus flavors, and distinctive minerality. Rias Baixas Albariños are a perfect match for seafood dishes or simply enjoyed on their own. Some top producers to explore in Rias Baixas in 2023 include Pazo de Señorans, Fillaboa, and Bodegas Castro Martin.
As you embark on your journey to discover the must-try Spanish wines of 2023, remember to explore different regions and grape varieties to truly experience the diversity and richness of Spanish wine culture. Whether you prefer bold reds or vibrant whites, there’s a Spanish wine waiting to be enjoyed.