Savory Spanish Wine
For a red fruit flavor that richly rewards aging, Tempranillo is an exceptional choice. Almost all Tempranillo grapes are grown in Spain. The wine is most often used in blends, serving as the sturdy foundation on which other wines are built.
Tempranillo is also bottled as a varietal wine and can have complex flavors in its own right. The ideal terroir and climate are needed to develop Tempranillo properly to make fruity, savory wines with fantastic notes. This explains why the grape is almost exclusively grown in Spain and Portugal, as these areas can provide a suitable climate.
The History of Tempranillo Wines
It is thought that Tempranillo wine was brought to Spain and Portugal by the Phoenician civilization thousands of years ago. That may or may not be true, but whomever first brought the grape found the ideal climate here. The temperate climate and dramatic seasonal shifts brought out the best in the grapes, resulting in a spectacular type of wine. Simple to grow, highly productive, and early to ripen, the grape has been prized by Spanish and Portuguese vintners. However, plant cuttings have not had as much success in other climates, particularly not hot ones.
Throughout its history, Tempranillo has been used as a foundation for blends, often making up the vast majority of the blends it is used in, with a dash of other wines to impart flavors and notes. Spanish vintners were mainly content to use wine like this until the 1990s when they endeavored to create Tempranillo varietal wines.
Tempranillo, when at its best, should have medium acidity and tannins to match. You can identify these wines from simpler bottlings by their deeper red color and, upon tasting, more wide-ranging aromas, which might include chocolate, leather, or tobacco.
Most Tempranillos will taste red fruit, including strawberries, cherries, and prunes. The wine should also have a medium or full body, which easily takes on the spiced flavors of oak barrels. While one might think of Tempranillo’s simplicity as a fault, the wine lends itself readily to proper treatment from winemakers, which means you can find highly complex and unique bottles of this wine.
Food Pairings for Tempranillo
When simple and savory, Tempranillo wine pairs well with an extensive range of foods. A bottle is excellent to have on hand for last-minute dinner plans, so you have a versatile wine that will work with almost any dish you decide to create.
Of course, those who want to experience an authentic pairing with Tempranillo will try it with Spanish cuisines such as cured meats or roasted vegetables, especially corn. The fruity and savory profile of Tempranillo also works with tomato-based dishes.
Tempranillo is well-aged in new oak barrels, which impart a spicy, savory richness that transforms even relatively plain vintages. Choose a kosher Tempranillo to age in your cellar today.