Studying abroad in Valladolid changed many things about me, from the way I spoke Spanish to the direction my life way to take. It also made me appreciated wine. Sitting just south of the Ribera del Duero region, Pucela, as it’s called locally, had vineyards producing some of Spain’s most famous brands. Dinner was often paired with a robust vino tinto, turning me into a wine aficionado at the tender age of 19. Hey, when in Rome…
Today is not about tapas, it’s about wine because I’m visiting Spain’s foremost wine region today for the first time. Tucked into the smallest autonomous community is acre upon acre of vineyards producing tempranillo and garnacha grape, home to Marques de Riscal and Campo Viejo brands, crumbling castle and monasteries, and a pintxos culture second to none.
Last weekend, my girlfriends and I did a cata de vino at a small wine shop in the center of Seville, Flor de Sal. With each of us busy with our lives, partners and jobs, our monthly dates are often full of chatter and wine, so having Andre explain his handpicked choices from lesser-known bodegas brought out the best in us wine-loving guiris. If it was any indication as to what lies ahead this weekend for me and my friends, we’re in trouble!
Have you been to La Rioja? Have any recommendations for me, particularly food and wine? What’s your favorite DO in Spain?