Wines from the Spain’s Rioja region have been aged by the winemaker before release, so every bottle can be opened and enjoyed immediately. They make a great Christmas gift or a good choice for holiday entertaining.
BLANCO RIOJAS – for white wine lovers and the eclectic neighbor next door.
- Stain-less steel fermented white Riojas: super-quaffable pre-meal aperitif. These wines are light, crisp and modern-style
- Barrel-fermented white Riojas: Great with mushrooms and asparagus. Aged whites of Rioja are exceptionally food-compatible. These wines have a tropical, fruity richness and Champagne-like yeasty complexity
- WALLET-FRIENDLY: The oaked Muga blanco ($14) and stain-less steel white is the El Coto blanco($10)
- SPLURGE: Oaked Palacios Herencia Remondo "Placet" Valtomelloso ($31)
TINTOS RIOJAS -- Jovens – for meat lovers
- Pair with roasted or gamey meats.
- Joven wines are typically sourced from old vineyard sites aged in French oak, and hit the market as early as 3 years after harvest.
- WALLET-FRIENDLY: Rioja Vega($9)
- SPLURGE: Valdemar Inspiracion 2010($28)
Crianzas – hostess gift for holiday parties
- The fruity freshness makes for a great greeting wine that pairs well with sheep’s milk cheese and hors d’oeuvres.
- Crianzas are easy-drinking style wines, aged a minimum of two years, one of which must be oak. A nice welcome drink for holiday guests.
- WALLET-FRIENDLY: Bodegas LAN Crianza ($10)
- SPLURGE: Dinastia Vivanco Crianza 2008($17)
Reservas – for parents, in-laws and your boss
- Great pick for the heart of the meal. Particularly great with a roasted leg of lamb, wild mushroom risotto, barbecued beef brisket.
- Aged for at least 12 months in oak, and 24 months in bottle, Reservas can be a classic or modern style.Classic Riojas are aged longer in American oak, whereas modern Reservas offer more sweet spices like fennel, anise and licorice.
- WALLET-FRIENDLY: Paternina Banda Rioja Reserva($13)
- SPLURGE: Bodegas Riojanas Monte Real Reserva($24)
Gran Reservas – for the special person in your life
- Excellent crowd-pleaser for sautéed mushrooms, duck confit, roasted squab or pheasant or chestnut soup.
- Gran Reservas are bottled with the best grapes of harvest and aged for at least 5 years. They are known for their elegant texture and a lingering orchestra of flavors from soft fruits to rich earthiness.
- WALLET-FRIENDLY: Campo Viejo Gran Reserva($20)
- SPLURGE: Marques de Murrieta Castillo Ygay Gran Reserva($63)