While reading today, I came across a site called The Local, which shares Spain’s news in English. A wine blogger, Timmer Brown (@catalunyawine), had posted some interesting articles about Spanish wine, which intrigued me immediately. After reading about some of the best wine bars in Barcelona (I’ll be visiting every single one, thankyouverymuch), I found a link to his post “Ten Interesting Facts You Probably Didn’t Know About Spanish Wine.” Total click-bait for me! Here are a few of the most interesting things I learned – which will surely make you want to hop on a plane and come visit us immediately!
- The ancient Romans loved Spanish wine – it was, apparently, one of their favorites! Spanish authorities even found remains of a Roman wine press near Alella (added to the list of places to visit) and everyone from Pliny the Elder to Ovid extolled the various virtues of Spanish wines. The archaeologist in me is happy.
- Spain is the #1 exporter of wine – in the world! And funny enough – most of it goes to its wine-loving neighbor, France. The grass is always greener, n’est ce pas? But – check out this highly entertaining article from last year…oh, the French!
- There are 78 sub-regions of wine throughout Spain, the Balaeric and Canary Islands – wow! Drink that in…
Spanish wine regions, or D.O.’s (Photo: spanishwine.com)
- Related: there are over 400 grape varietals in Spain. Honestly, I didn’t even know that many could exist all in one place – like, in the whole world. Most popular: Tempranillo, Garnacha, Monastrell, Albariño, (and here’s where I stop knowing them…) Palomino, Airen, Macabeo, Parellada and Xarel-lo.
- Cava is Spanish and bubbly and it is The. Bomb. Period. It’s mainly produced in Catalunya (ie the region around Barcelona – score!) but can be produced in other regions around Spain. Needless to say, we’re drinking it regularly – especially when it’s less than 3 euros a glass. Done.
- Spain is the world’s #1 producer of organic wine. Who’d have guessed that?? Traditional winemaking methods influence this trend – they don’t like to use pesticides. Good for you, Spanish winemakers.
Wine region of Rioja (Photo: Wine Folly)
- Sherry is Spanish, and, kind of like Champagne, can only just be called “Sherry” if it’s from Spain. It used to be considered the finest wine in Europe!
- And lastly – this one is from me – you can find many delicious, local Spanish wines for under 2 euros a bottle. It’s like $2 Chuck…but Spanish. And really good. They’re abundant at our local supermarkets and we now keep a couple bottles around at all times. I mean, why wouldn’t we??
Ok now go enjoy some Spanish wine! I know I will…cheers!
PS – Planning a wine tour of Spain? Check these famous wineries out!