Since Thursday is International Tempranillo Day, it’s a great opportunity to revisit this grape if you haven’t had wine made from it in a while.
Tempranillo is the most important red grape from Spain. The majority of really good Spanish wines are made from it. It is best known as the grape of Rioja, but you’ll find wonderful examples from Ribera del Duero, Toro and other areas.
Australia and California have started to make wine from this grape but I haven’t had enough of them to venture an opinion. If you find one, try it and let me know your thoughts!
Good wine made from Tempranillo should offer lots of bright berry flavors (especially strawberry), solid acidity and undertones of earthiness. The wines almost never show up with very high alcohol, and are generally known to be good wines with food. They especially pair well with grilled meats and cheeses, stews and slow-cooked meats. Remember that this is just an overview or generalization. Each wine is different. Your retailer can help you find one that should work for you.
It’s easy to find Tempranillo wines in just about any local wine store in New York. The Spain section will always have some wines from Rioja – everybody’s go-to destination for this grape. Don’t be afraid to experiment with the grape from other regions of Spain and the world.