Welcome to an evening where we explore the wines of the Iberian Peninsula. Spain is famous for its food-friendly wine styles from classic regions such as Rioja. During this evening tasting we will spend some time paying our respect to these firm favourites and explore their enduring popularity. However, we will also look beyond the classics and discover a world of exciting new wines coming from up-and-coming wine regions that show there's another side to these proud wine making nations.
Think of Spain, and you probably think of Rioja, where the magnificently smoky Tempranillo is King. However, there is so much more to enjoy as we tour around the third largest wine producing country in the world.
We start our journey in a province very different from the rest of Spain, cool and wet Rias Baixas in the North West where soft and peachy white Albariño is king. We sample one of these uber fashionable wines tonight.
Moving south we head into Rueda where we sample another white wine, this time from the unfairly overlooked Verdejo. We sample “Spain’s answer to Sauvignon Blanc” here. Don’t tell anyone, otherwise the price will go up!
Of course, we have to pay tribute to Rioja and so we head into the Basque hinterland in the North of Spain to do just that. As well as sampling an oak-aged Rioja, we also look at the impact of ageing wines in oak and explain why it is a common winemaking technique.
Still in the North of Spain we now journey to Catalonia where we meet Spain’s “other” superstar wine – Priorat. Grown in the hot and dusty mountains, these old, low-yielding Garnacha vines produce superbly concentrated wines.
Now we head down the Mediterranean coast into the Levant around the city of Alicante to sample a big, powerful Monastrell wine. This variety is known as Mourvèdre in France, and needs a LOT of heat to ripen fully, which here in sunny Spain it certainly does.
Finally, we head over to Portugal, a country that can easily occupy a whole wine-tasting evening itself, but we have time for only one wine tonight. Of course, Portugal’s most famous export is Port, but the same rugged scenery and low-yielding Touriga Nacional vines produce superb table wine as well. Tonight, we sample one of these from either the Douro or Dão regions.
Professional ISO tasting glasses, all course materials including tasting sheets & water are provided, along with some Spanish-themed snacks to help the wine along.