A brief introduction to Spanish Wine
When wine was brought to Spain in 800 BCE by Phoenicians it grew into a very different creation than the French based wines normally found in America. There is a wide variety of Spanish Wine with their own unique flavors and aromas that would add quite a bit to any meal. Red wines from Spain are often very reliant on spices or fruits other than grapes such as grapefruit, sour cherry and plum. Unfortunately, with the exception of Sherry, the military dictatorship of Spain ensured that these wines have only had limited international exposure until the late twentieth century. With the end of the dictatorship in the mid 1970’s the Spanish wine industry finally had the ability to gain international attention.
Spanish Wine with their own unique flavors
Although traditionally Spanish wine has had a much different quality ladder than French Wine, over time it has begun to evolve to more closely resemble it’s French counterpart. The wine ranges from simple table wine to Denominación de Origen Calificada, or DOC, which replaced Denominación de Origen as the top rung in the ladder in 1988 when Spain entered the EEC. In addition to this there is one other rung which can even be seen as a completely different classification of wines.
Vino de Pago, or VP are estate wine and they must be wholly created and bottled within a specific region. There are certain wines that have been promoted to this particular rung simply because of their history and creation. Those who govern these estate wines are allowed to create their own unique rules to govern every step of the wine making process from the cultivation of the grapes up to methods used for viticulture, vinification, and aging.
Today it is fashionable to have wine with intense extraction, and intensity. These wines come from grapes grown in specific, well-placed vineyards. New wine laws offer these vineyards excellent places in wine laws. In spite of the fact that Spain has quite a bit to offer the international community in terms of wine it is often under appreciated. Although Reserva and Gran Reserva still are quite valued within Spain, they have significantly less international value. Hopefully this will change in time.