As a study abroad student in Spain, naturally you’ll get curious about all the Spanish wine types around you! Wine is a deep part of the culture here in Spain. Getting to know Spanish wines means getting to understand the culture. Knowing a bit about Spanish wine types will also help you as you navigate Spain’s nightlife! There are many more Spanish wines types than just sangria (although that’s delicious too). Branch out and try one of the 5 most famous Spanish wine types below!
Why Drink Spanish Wines?
The warm and dry climate of Spain creates the perfect environment for Spanish vineyards. In fact, Spain is the world’s third largest producer of wine! Spain produces some of the world’s best wine, so do yourself a favor and try some out. You’ll find that every bar has at least one good Spanish wine, whether you’re in a tapas bar in Madrid, Barcelona or Valencia. In fact, it’s a great idea to order wine at a tapas bar as free tapas are provided with drinks in some areas of Spain.
Spanish wines are almost always aged in oak barrels. Spanish winemakers use the words Joven, Tinto, Crianza, Reserva, and Gran Reserva to describe how long the wine was aged in the oak and how long it was aged in the bottle. If you like strong, mature and tannin-filled wines, order Crianzas, Reservas, and Gran Reservas. If you prefer fruity, lighter red wine flavors, order Joven or Tinto. They’re easy to drink table wines, so you’ll see these more often at Spanish mealtimes! Tip: take a Joven or Tinto wine when you make your own sangria.
Well-Known Spanish Wine Types
Spanish Red Wines
- Tempranillo – This Spanish wine name comes from the Spanish word temprano which means early. It refers to when the grapes are harvested!
- Rioja – Spanish Rioja is arguably the most famous Spanish wine. Rioja is actually a blend of other grapes including Tempranillo, young Garnacha grapes and other local Spanish red grapes. This wine is named after La Rioja, the wine-growing region of Spain where this blend comes from.
- Garnacha – This Spanish wine grape is also grown in France, where it’s called Grenache. Garnacha from Spain has a deep forest berry flavor and, like all Spanish red wines, is full and dark.
Spanish Rosès and White Wines
- Cava – This is a delicious sparkling white or rosé wine. Made on the Mediterranean coast, this famous Spanish bubbly is popular worldwide. You should definitely taste a fresh glass of the Spanish ‘champagne’ while in Spain!
- Txakoli rose – This wine may not be one of the most popular Spanish wine types, it’s amazing! This Spanish rosè comes from Spain’s Basque region. It’s a dry rosè wine with extremely refreshing bubbles!