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This week, let’s see what Spain has going on!

Spain has a history of wine making that is over a thousand years old, so there is a lot to know about Spanish wine. From crisp whites to earthy tempranillos……here is a simple overview to help you get acquainted with the main categories and types of wine, as well as terms you will encounter.

Red Wines or Tintos – In Spanish, red wine is called “tinto” or tinted wine.

White Wines or Blancos – In Spanish, white wine is simply called “blanco” or white.

Rosé Wines or Rosados – In Spanish, rosé wine is called the same, or “rosado.”

Cava and Sparkling Wines – Spain is famous for its sparkling white wine, similar to Champagne, which is called “Cava”. It is generally a blend of 2-3 white grapes. The term “Cava” refers to the cellar or cave or “cava” where the wine is made.

Joven – This mean “young” in Spanish. Joven wine usually sees not oak barrel treatment, or very little oak ageing, and is usually fruity and meant to be drunk within a few years of release.

Crianza – The exact translation of Crianza is “nursing” or “caring for”, which means the wine has been aged in oak for a while. In some regions, this can be a little as 6 months in oak barrels. Often in more prestigious wine regions in Spain, a Crianza wine has been aged for 12 months or so in oak barrels. A Crianza must be aged for a total of 24 months, either in oak or in bottle before release.

Reserva – An easy one to translate, “reserve”. Selected, held back, and aged longer. Reservas are usually the highest quality grapes the wine maker has, and the wine sees long oak ageing. Generally a Reserva is aged 12-24 months in oak barrels, with a minimum of 36 months of ageing before release.

Gran Reserva – Only made during good vintages, these wines are the pinnacles of their genre. They are made from the best selected fruit a producer has, usually in small quantity. They are aged for at least 24 months in oak, often even longer, and must be aged for a total of 60 months before they can be released! The best last for decades.

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