Why Spain Is The Place To Find The Best Value Buys in Wine Right Now
I often think about what I would do if I had $20 and walked into a wine shop looking for the best value I could possibly get for my money? What wine would I buy? Almost every time, I come back to Spain. Bang for the buck, the quality of wine you can score from Spain, be it white or red or rose, is really the way to go right now from a straight mega value perspective.
Regardless of whether you are spending $10 or $50 or $125 on a bottle, Spanish wines over deliver on almost every account. Now, granted a lot of this is personal preference, and I do gravitate towards old world wine producing regions. But across many of these seemingly old world areas, we are seeing younger generations of new winemakers, bringing modern wine styles to the old vines planted by their elders. It’s creating a whole new world of wine with great quality, interesting characteristics, and extreme values. Let’s look at some of the key places and varietals to try in the world of Spanish wine.
Rioja. Without a doubt Rioja (REE-OH-HA) remains a powerhouse for big bold Spanish red wines. Wines are made from Tempranillo with prices starting under $10 and going well over $100 for world class wine. But for $10-$20 you can’t go wrong with Rioja compared to almost anything else in the price range. White and Rose Rioja is also very good and moderately priced.
Priorat. Priorat (PREE-OR-AT) is a premiere region in Spain, and prices here start a little higher, in the $30s on up, but the quality is 2-3X what you will find from other regions in the same price range. I hate to dog on Napa Cabs because I do love them so much, but a $50 bottle from Priorat can taste like $100+ from Napa. I’m consistently blown away by Priorat wines every time I try a new one.
Toro: more Tempranillo here in a popular emerging area. Toro bottles can start around $10, but they get really good in the $15-25 range.
Ribera del Duero. Another king of reds in Spain, priced moderately starting around $15 and going up from there, these wines deliver tremendous value. From just about any producer in Ribera you can’t go wrong.
Albarino. For whites, Spain has many options, but a good solid choice for almost any occasion and any cuisine, is Albarino, a crisp, zesty, minerally white with tropical fruit flavor, sure to please the palate of most any white wine fan.
That’s just a brief overview of some of the value areas I would look for in Spanish wines. As always, look at a map, become familiar with the geography of these regions, plot the areas you enjoy the most, and explore some of the neighboring areas and the contrasting wine styles you may find among them. Spain is a fun journey in wine, and one that I am happy to be right in the middle of myself.
You can read several of our reviews of Spanish wines found at Costco here. I’ve seen quite a few of these wines elsewhere so they offer a good baseline from which to start.
There’s a lot more wine to be offered from Spain. What are some of your favorite regions? Let us know in the comments below.