Level up your Spanish wine game!
Updated: Jul 2
No doubt after a long day on the Camino you'll be keen to enjoy a Vino Tinto (red wine) or a Vino Blanco (white wine).
Whilst the easiest way is to ask for either of these at the bar, from only 50 euro cents more you could be enjoying a much better quality of wine if you know what to ask for!
There a four labelling terms for style and age that will be helpful to know when your ordering wine. However I would only suggest remembering one - Crianza!
Crianza: This term is used for red wines that have been aged for a minimum of two years.
I'd suggest that Crianza is really the key term you'll want to know as Crianza wines are readily available. Even a small supermarket in Hornillos had Crianza wine for only an euro or two more than a regular red so this is the main style I'd suggest keeping an eye out for.
I've listed the other key terms below in case your keen to look for a wine with further depth.
Reserva: Reserva wines are of higher quality and have undergone longer ageing periods. Red Reserva wines are aged for a minimum of three years, with at least one year in oak barrels. Reserva wines are expected to display more complexity, depth, and smoothness.
Gran Reserva: This designation represents the highest level of ageing for Spanish wines. Gran Reserva wines are produced only in exceptional vintages and are aged for an extended period. For red wines, the minimum ageing period is five years, with at least two years in oak barrels. Gran Reserva wines exhibit exceptional maturity, complexity, and elegance.
Joven or Sin Crianza: Apart from the above terms, you may also come across additional labeling information related to ageing, such as "Joven" or "Sin Crianza," which indicates that the wine has not undergone any significant oak ageing and is intended for immediate consumption. Most house wines will be joven wines and not labelled as such.
So next time your at the bar why not ask for a 'Vino Tinto Crianza por favor' or look for wines at the supermarket with the labelling term Crianza on the bottle and level up your wine game whilst in Spain!