Absolutely everything you need to know to be a Rioja wine pro

May 1 2018, 5:53 am

As we leave the eternal darkness of winter behind us, it’s time to celebrate with a glass (or bottle – it was a long winter) of your favourite wine. But why not do things differently this year? Why not upgrade your wine game with some Spanish flavour?

Let’s talk about Rioja.

It’s the most famous wine region in North Spain, and that’s for good reason; located between two mountain ranges, it’s perfectly situated to develop a wide array of red and white wines at different climates and terrains.

With the help of the experts at DOCa Rioja, we’ve put together a handy list of some common (and delicious) wines and their closest Rioja counterpart, so you can make a smooth transition into the luscious world of Spanish wines.

So get your corkscrew ready and prepare a toast; here are 5 Rioja region wines you’ll be able to fit into your regular rotation immediately.

If you like Pinot Grigio:

Try a Beronia White, or an El Coto White.

These Rioja options carry over the dry crispness of Pinot Grigio, but with a stronger array of aromas, as well as full-bodied flavours.

If you like Rosé:

Try a Vina Real Rose, a Conde Valdemar Rosé, or a Barón de Ley Rosé.

Rosé all day? Okay. But instead, these Rioja wines lean into the fruity flavours and smooth tones to offer you a drink that’s both refreshing and full-bodied.

If you like Chardonnay:

Go for a Marqués de Murrieta Capellania, or a Muga White.

The acidity and floral tones of your favourite white can be brought to the next level with these Rioja wines that add everything from spicy accents to a clear fresh flavour.

If you like Cabernet Sauvignon:

Help yourself to a Ramon Bilbao Reserva, or a El Coto De Imaz Reserva.

Take the rich flavour of your favourite cabernet and make it, you know, deeper. More fruit tones, stronger fermentation, and the level of taste sophistication you can expect from Rioja.

If you like Merlot:

Pour out some Barón de Chirel, or a glass of Marqués de Riscal.

If you like your wine dark and with strong fruit tones, Rioja has you covered. Both these wines dig deep into their cherry flavour, with equally strong aromatic tones and a fresh, smooth taste.

There has never been a better time to upgrade your wine collection with a taste of the Rioja region. Cheers!

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