In my tasting class at the university we tested 12 bottles of wine from Spain and Portugal. I have added in a few more bottles from the Iberian Peninsula that have caught my attention.
- we started with Cava, a sparkling wine, and fabulous value, especially when compared to French champagnes. In our class we tasted Segura Viudas, Brut Reserva. My tasting sheet describes it as acid, dry, with green apple and ‘toast’ notes.
From a different selection of Cavas at the ‘Signature’ Liquor Store, my favourite was Codorníu – Clásico Brut. It is light and crisp, and the cheapest of the Sparkling wines at $13.99! It was paired with Manchego cheese, a hard sheep cheese from Spain, and the combination was magic. (More on this liquor store tasting, appropriately timed for New Year’s Eve)
- the second wine we tasted in our class was Gatao, Vinho Verde (green wine), a slightly effervescent and refreshing wine from Portugal, with the flavours of ‘citrus and green apple’.
- we also tried Burgans Albariño, the Spanish version of vino verde, with fresh citrus notes that would go well with creamy seafood dishes or raw oysters. We had a glass (or two) in Galicia, served appropriately with pulpo (octopus).
(If you fancy testing your Spanish, this is from my Soleado course: No hay muchos vinos blancos en España, pero la región de Galicia produce un tipo de vino ‘verde’ llamado ‘albariño’. Este vino tiene una acidez alta y es un buen complemento para los mariscos crudos como las ostras. Nota: La mayoría de las uvas verdes se usan para el jerez. Más en los vinos de España)
- We didn’t taste any whites (vinos blancos) in our class, but I found this wonderful white in the Liquor Store: Viña Esmeralda (emerald vines). It is a Spanish blend of whites with a lot of Gewurztraminer in it, and is a perfect summer sipping wine, pairing nicely with almonds. It comes from Catalonia in the northeast of Spain.
Next blog I will go through the red wines (vinos tintos) of these two countries, as most of the grapes grown in Spain and Portugal are made into red wines.