I love wine. Period. I show up at wineries and wine tasting nights, dressed slightly South Yarra, part Fitzroy hipster. I act like a wine connoisseur – carefully swirling the juice in the glass, ever-so-daintily whiffing the rim, scrunch my eyebrows as if pondering the bouquet. Lightly, ever so lightly, I take a sip, pause for a second absorbing the sensation on my palate, and swallow. I can tell the difference between sweet, tannic, and acidic — but I am no wine expert.
My wine tasting skills are a combination of me faking it, and pieced-together knowledge through multiple ventures to the Yarra Valley, Mornington, and the Barossa. I can stumble through wine tasting 101, but when it comes to Spanish wines, I may be the best faux wine connoisseur you’ve ever met.
That is, until I spent a Saturday afternoon with the experts from Wine House learning about all things Spanish wine.
Rioja, Cava, Tinto. They’re all words that are thrown around in wine world, but what do they really mean? Together, Wine House and Stacey Sheppard from Untapped Wines guided us through an assortment of seven tastings to set me straight on all things Spanish wine.
Looking to impress your friends (or date) with your Spanish wine? Here are a few tips:
- Rioja is the best known wine region in Spain, producing mostly Tempranillo.
- In Spain, the Tempranillo grape has several different names. Tinto, Tinto Fino, and Tinto del Pais are all part of the Tempranillo family.
- The labels on Spanish wine bottles display the region (Rioja, for example) instead of the grape type, and age classification instead of the year it was made. For example, with red Spanish wine the time it spends in the barrel is labelled as Crianza (2 years), Reserva (3 years), or Gran Reserva (5+ years).
My afternoon at the Wine House was enlightening for both my mind and palate!
Ember is an American turned Aussie. Her love affair with Melbourne goes back three years, and she still can’t get enough of this city! Discovering new hideouts and hidden gems around Melbourne is her hobby. Marketing Strategist by day, spontaneous adventurer, brekky enthusiast and aerial acrobat by night.
Want to learn more about wine? Check out their upcoming five week wine appreciation course beginning on 1 October.
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