Spanish Beauties

Birdy in Sitges

Spanish Beauties: There’s so much more to Spain than Rioja, one of the UK’s most popular Spanish wines. If you’re new to the region of Catalunya, the area in the north of Spain, around Barcelona, it is worth exploring for fantastic quality and value wines. 

Cava remains a best selling sparkling wine due to its great value for quality. Made by ‘metodo tradicional’ – ie secondary fermentation in bottle, like Champagne – the range now available in the UK is worth re-visiting.

Hams in Girona

Three recommendations for Spanish wines are:

Codorniu Brut
is a blend of indigenous Cava varieties and has the nutty, brioche like character of Champagne. A crowd pleasing party wine at a wallet friendly £6-£8, it won’t leave a hole in the budget or your guests’ stomach lining. Widely available, including from UK fizz specialist Majestic.

(aka Grenache) is just so likeable. Soft, fruity and smooth, it is found in blends such as Chateauneuf du Pape, Cotes du Rhone, Rioja and here in PrioratJoan Gine is an innovative producer using Garnacha blends with the typical Priorat slate flavours and distinctive minerality. Equally muscular and velvety, this is for hedonistic lovers of big reds and rosés. Info for one UK stockist here.

As you float about the Costa Brava on your yacht (as you do), cast your mind to the local viticulture. The beautiful, summer holiday hotspot of Cadaques has a winery up on the olive clad, slate hills, Celler Martin Faixo, making a range of wines, including from ‘international varieties’ and Grenache. Rich, full and spicy with a long, savoury kick, the reds are one for a smoochy date over a steak supper in the sunset. The winery has a mini tasting room and offers visits. The wines are available to buy direct from the producer and are widely available in the region.

Sa Riera Nudist Beach

For great Spanish restaurants in London, check out London indie chain Camino. For more info on Spanish wines, see Wines from Spain.

Photos: Jenny Mackenzie

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