News on Spanish Wines

Wine news: Zarcillos 2013 Wine Competition

May 2, 2013
Zarcillos de Oro:  Spanish wine competition

The Zarcillos de Oro 2013 will be held in Valladolid, Spain from 21-24 May. This biannual international wine competition was first held in 1991 and the last edition included 3,000 entries from 23 countries. It was originally organized by the regional government at a very crucial time for the wines of Castilla Leon, when both the system and wines were undergoing tremendous changes. The idea was to incentivize the production of the highest quality wine while introducing to a wider audience the wines of the area. Added to those initial national goals over the years has been the equally important goal of the competition as an international fine wine encounter.

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Undiscovered Spanish wines: Vinos de Madrid

April 21, 2013
Undiscovered Spanish wine:  Vinos de Madrid

After finding Zestos, a great everyday value wine from the Madrid region of Spain, in Costco, I’m inspired to talk a little more about the Madrid wine region, Vinos de Madrid. It’s not well known, even in Spain, though it’s gaining in reputation among wine professionals and aficionados alike. Formerly known for plonk that was served in Madrid bars, the area has fought hard to change that reputation. One of the drawbacks is that production of top wines is small and prices are not always low, though the wines are still good value. One sub-area in particular, San Martín de Valdeiglesias has been making an impressive reputation for itself with totally original old-vine Grenache and unique white Albillos. If you want something with personality and totally different than most Spanish wine, check out these wines….

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Exciting Spanish wine hunting in Costco!

April 18, 2013
Spanish wine in Costco

I’ve only been checking out Costco wine for a few months, but so far I was not so impressed. I know they are the biggest vendors in the world and are also the biggest vendors of Bordeaux first growths in the US, but their selections seems awkward to me. Lots of bulkish, mainstream quaffers and some top flight CA and French bottlings, but not much in the middle, not much for the discerning wine drinker who doesn’t have a large budget. Not much either, for the adventurous wine drinker…but I know that’s too much to expect from a big box operation. But yesterday, it was like I entered a different store…tons of mid-range, interesting wines. Also at least 12 different Spanish wines….some typical picks, some awesome picks, some a little strange, but overall a Spanish wine fest! For the first time I had to force myself to stop picking out bottles…..

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Don Simón wines in Whole Foods Part 2

April 5, 2013
Don Simon Tempranillo Spanish wine

So I got the wine and I’m drinking it now! I’m referring to a Spanish wine from the Tempranillo grape by the producer Don Simón, bought in Whole Foods for four dollars. In my previous post on the matter I expressed concern that Whole Foods was selling such cheap wine from Spain, and from a producer known for boxed sangria. After tasting the Tempranillo, my concern remains. The wine is not totally undrinkable, but neither can I recommend it in any way. I feel there are decent wines in the 5-10$ range and tons of interesting ones in the 10-15$ range but under 5 is really tough…and these wines are not the exceptions. This wine only damages the Spanish cause and it’s current high visibility in Whole Foods makes me sad.

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Don Simón wine touches down in Whole Foods!

April 1, 2013
Don Simon Spanish wine

I entered my Whole Foods store and this is what I saw! This huge display of Don Simón wines takes up the whole entrance area. Don Simón represents the worst side of Spanish wine with bad sangria and wine in cardboard boxes. Whole Foods has always had a small, but decent, if over-priced, selection of Spanish wines. How did these two wine worlds collide? There is no clue on the Whole Foods website. If the wine costs four dollars in Whole Foods….imagine its quality level! I am down, down, down about this…high profile, ultra-generic, low-quality wine does nothing good for the image of Spanish wine in the US. I will, in an attempt at fairness, try one of these wines….but it’s not going to be pretty!

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The Peñin Top Spanish Wine Tasting

December 8, 2012
Peñin Spanish wine guide

The annual Peñin top Spanish wine tasting is a great chance to taste to taste all the new vintages from Spain’s top wineries. José Peñin, a prominent Spanish wine critic, takes the opportunity every fall to release the latest version of his wine guide, as well as showcase all wines rated 94 points or higher. All the usual suspects were there, as well as some pleasant new promotees. Total saturation and way too many big reds, but lots of fun and some nice surprises especially with cavas, whites and some far flung reds…..

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Recession Spain: a fantastic food and wine destination

November 30, 2012
Great Spanish food and wine

Such a lovely trip to Spain! So much great food and wine! That bustling, loud, yet warm and inviting atmosphere still prevails in Madrid bars and restaurants, despite the persistently grim economic news. It’s been sad to see some old favorites succumb to hard times, but new, exciting projects are everywhere and the amount of food options at all price points remains abundant and inspiring. Overall value for money is fantastic and Spain remains a great destination and wonderful source of inspiration in difficult times.

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Wine lovers visiting Madrid: I feel your pain!

March 10, 2010

See my Dec 2012 update to this post with my favorite wine spots and best wine bars in Madrid! I get a ton of requests for wine resources from visitors to Madrid.  We originally offered sign-up classes on Monday nights to address that need partially but unfortunately no longer do.   Madrid is still a town sadly lacking in tasting […]

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Salon Gourmets 2009 Food and Wine Show Closes in Madrid

April 5, 2009

Another edition of the Salon Gourmets has past in the Feria de Madrid…Gourmets is a four day professional food and wine show that launches the fair season.   In the past wine has been a much bigger part of the show and this year I noticed that even less wineries participated.  Food dominates this show and […]

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Spanish Wine Exports Performing Well in Crisis Market

March 3, 2009

A couple of really interesting articles at Market Watch and at Decanter in the last week really gave some insights into how Spanish wine is performing in the current crisis market.  According to Market Watch, Spanish imports are performing better than average in the US wine market, and particularly when you compare their numbers to […]

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