What Is Rioja Wine?

Rioja is a red blend. Rioja is famously a blend of two native Spanish varieties, Tempranillo and Garnacha (Grenache) and they are produced in a vast range of styles that range from easy-drinking, to well-matured. Naturally, Tempranillo is a variety that produces big, structured wines with high tannins and forms the backbone of this blend.

What is a Rioja winery called?

In Spain, wineries are commonly referred to as bodegas though this term may also refer to a wine cellar or warehouse. For quite some time, the Rioja wine industry has been dominated by local family vineyards and co-operatives that have bought the grapes and make the wine.

What is Rioja like to drink?

Drinking rioja used to be like wearing a old cardigan. Not necessarily exciting but always comfortable. Many wine lovers, myself included, got into the subject through the mellow charms of this north Spanish wine. Rioja offered another way between the simple pleasures of cheaper Australian wines and the more austere offerings from France and Italy.

What is the origin of Rioja?

Rioja is a wine region in Spain, with Denominación de Origen Calificada (D.O.Ca., ‘Qualified Designation of Origin’). Rioja wine is made from grapes grown in the autonomous communities of La Rioja and Navarre, and the Basque province of Álava. Rioja is further subdivided into three zones: Rioja Alta, Rioja Oriental and Rioja Alavesa.

What is Rioja Alta?

From the 15th century on, the Rioja Alta specialized in wine growing. In 1560, harvesters from Longares chose a symbol to represent the quality of the wines. In 1635, the mayor of Logroño prohibited the passing of carts through streets near wine cellars, in case the vibrations caused a deterioration of the quality of the wine.

What kind of wine is a Rioja?

Rioja is an oak-aged wine. Historically, American oak predominated, but many producers now use a blend of American and French oak barrels. American oak gives the wine flavors of coconut, vanilla, dill, and caramel. Rioja is defined by its age.

Is Rioja a good wine?

Rioja makes some amazing wines. It has long done so. Taste a mature gran reserva from a classic vintage like 1964 or 1970, and you are in the presence of something sublime, something that ages as well as any red wine on the planet.

Why is Rioja so good?

Sometimes referred to as Spain’s answer to bordeaux, rioja produces both red and white wine, but like bordeaux, it’s the red that is much better known. Red rioja is made from a blend of grapes, most notably tempranillo and graciano. Either way, the wines begin to taste very mellow (and comforting) as they age.

What red wine is similar to Rioja?

Next door to Rioja is a region called Navarra where you will find reds made with exactly the same grapes varieties: Tempranillo and Garnacha. These grapes also thrive in other regions, notably Garnacha in the Rhône, where it is known as Grenache and goes into the great wines of Châteauneuf-du-Pape.

Is Rioja sweet or dry?

They’re generally low in acidity, with good sweetness and tannin and little to no oak. Older reds, especially reservas, are everything you want to experience in Rioja. Medium sweetness and tannin and low acidity with a medium to high oakiness.

What is the difference between Merlot and Rioja?

Merlot is the softest and plummy, Shiraz is spicy, Malbec is rich and intense and Cabernet Sauvignon is full of blackcurrant and dark hedgerow fruits. Rioja is an area in Spain that makes different styles of wine from a blend of varietals, normally Tempranillo, Grenache and Mazeulo.

Is Rioja a merlot?

It is a low acid grape but the exception is that it has higher tannins than Merlot. Tempranillo grapes are used to produce the great red Spanish Rioja and Ribera del Duero wines and dry red wines of the Douro in Portugal.

Is Rioja a full-bodied red wine?

The name Rioja refers to the region in northern Spain where these wines are produced. Although red, white and rosé wines are made here, the region is best known for its full-bodied red wines. Rioja is a designated DOCa (Denominación de Origen Calificada), which is the highest category of Spanish wine classification.

Which French wine is like Rioja?

Rioja Reserva is perhaps the region’s best-loved style of wine. Reserva level wines strike a delicate balance between fruit and oak, appealing to most wine lovers’ palates.

Is Rioja a heavy wine?

Wines from Rioja can be medium to full-bodied, with high tannins and rich flavors of dark berries, plum, tobacco, and herb.

What do you drink with Rioja?

Rioja is known for its easier-drinking Tempranillo-based reds which are traditionally paired with local roast pork, chorizo and aged cheese. But for a Gran Reserva Rioja, Cruz recommends trying higher protein meat, and his top pairing suggestion is grilled pigeon with white truffle.

Is Rioja a light wine?

We may have food down cold, but wine? Their deep, rich color comes from the Tempranillo grape, and their flavor profile is more gentle than overbearing — which is exactly what we want from “transitional” foods that bridge summer and fall.

What can I substitute for Rioja wine?

11 Non-Alcoholic Substitutes for Wine (Both Red and White)

  • Red and White Wine Vinegar. Share on Pinterest.
  • Pomegranate Juice. Pomegranate juice is a beverage with a rich, fruity flavor.
  • Cranberry Juice.
  • Ginger Ale.
  • Red or White Grape Juice.
  • Chicken, Beef or Vegetable Stock.
  • Apple Juice.
  • Lemon Juice.

Is Rioja similar to malbec?

Argentinian malbec is now a major rival to Spanish rioja in our red affections. It shares rioja’s appealing fullness and smoothness, but it’s a bit brighter and fruitier, though not as jammy as, say, an Australian or Californian red.

What is the difference between Tempranillo and Rioja?

With the extreme climatic conditions coupled with the heartier soils, Tempranillo from the Ribera del Duero tends to be more robust than that from Rioja with typically higher alcohol and riper, darker fruits.

What type of wine is Rioja famous for?

Tempranillo is a big wine with high tannin that buddies up to any piece of rich meat. This grape is hugely popular around the world but its true homeland is on the Iberian Peninsula. In Spain, the region famous for Tempranillo is Rioja. Unlike American wine, Rioja uses a system of qualifying their wines making it pretty easy to find what you like.

Where does Rioja wine really come from?

Rioja wine takes its name, like many other wines made in the Old World, from the Rioja region where it is produced. The Rioja region is landlocked in North Central Spain and includes three sub-regions. Tempranillo, a red wine grape that’s indigenous to Spain, is the dominant grape in Rioja.

What does Rioja taste like?

What does Rioja taste like? Red Rioja is usually full of red fruit flavours like strawberry and cherry. You also often find notes of tobacco and cedar. They usually have smooth tannins, a hint of spice, and varying amounts of oaky flavours depending on how long they have been left to age.

What country does Rioja wine come from?

Rioja is a wine region in Spain, with denominación de origen calificada. Rioja wine is made from grapes grown in the autonomous communities of La Rioja and Navarre, and the Basque province of Álava. Rioja is further subdivided into three zones: Rioja Alta, Rioja Oriental and Rioja Alavesa. Many wines have traditionally blended fruit from all three regions, though there is a slow growth in single-zone wines.

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