Decantalo Wine Blog

Christmas Pairings: Pair wine and Christmas desserts

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During the past week we have done well with a series of posts dedicated to pairing wine with the main Christmas recipes.

However all good things must come to an end so we are finishing our menu, but not before paying attention to Christmas desserts. Pay attention because we are going to explain some secrets about the main Christmas desserts in Spain and we are going to give you some advice about how to pair them with wine. Enjoy your meal!

mar_dul_nav A paradise for a person with a sweet tooth © IMEO

At any Spanish table, we always finish the Christmas dinner with a good platter of polvorones, turrones and mantecados

Turrones are made from boiling sugar or honey and adding dry fruits as well as almonds. A batter is created, which an egg white is then added to, and afterwards kneaded into a rectangle shape. It is based on a typical Arab sweet that arrived on the Mediterranean coast in the 11th century.

Today the turrón industry is located in Alicante with two denominations: Jijona and Alicante. The two types have a base of honey and almonds, but also the Jijona turrón is soft and made out of crushed almonds, and the Alicante one is a hard turrón made from whole almonds.

You can encounter all kinds of flavours, chocolate, coffee, rum raisins, cream and nuts…but the truth that never fails is that there is the hard turrón and the soft turrón.

The polvorones are small dry pastries with a base of almonds, flour, pig lard and sugar that has been boiled over a strong heat and it is crumbled before eating. The polvorones are more famous in the south of Spain, in Andalucía, however they are made in other areas of Spain.

The mantecados, meanwhile, are sweet and look like polvorones, however they do not usually contain almonds.

When pairing wine and Christmas desserts, we have thought of three recommendations. You will love them!

El Maestro Sierra Cream. The DO Jerez brand can boast about giving us some of the best sweet wines in the world. On this occasion, we are opting for a Cream, i.e. an Oloroso which has sweet Pedro Ximénez wine added to it and afterwards there is an aging with other soleras for a minimum of 5 years. We love this Maestro Sierra Cream because it gives us just the right amount of sweetness to accompany the dessert without us drowning in it.

Alceño Monastrell Dulce 2010. We travelled to DO Jumilla  to present you with a 100% sweet monastrell from Bodegas Alceño. A sweet Monastrell with a good length and a good point of acidity which takes our fancy as it perfectly accompanies these types of desserts.

Llopart Néctar Terrenal. We have come from a stream of established opinions in the last few years that have defended the quality of sparkling wines that can only be treated as Brut or Brut Nature. Fortunately, it seems that this trend is starting to be abandoned and consumers and wineries increasingly believe that sparkling wine can be dedicated to accompanying sweet desserts. This Llopart Néctar Terrenal is a very good example of this. A cava with the spirit of a dessert wine. Fresh and different. Very interesting.

These are our three recommendations to pair with desserts this 2014 Christmas. What wines would you recommend to us?

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Christmas Pairings: Pairing wine and suckling pig

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Only a week until the great Christmas day, and at Decántalo we are continuing to develop our copious menu with the objective of offering the best options for pairing wine with our favourite traditional recipes.

After savouring the taste of a good soup, the best seafood, a delicate sea bream and a traditional Christmas turkey, we hope that you still have an appetite to enjoy one of the most traditional dishes of our gastronomy, that is usually a Christmas classic these days. We are talking about the delicious suckling pig. At Decántalo we have some tricks for the preparation as well as some ideas and suggestions for pairing wine and suckling pig. You will love them!

vino-y-cochinilloSpectacular suckling pig in the Segovia style. ©Bonvehi

The suckling pig is very typical in the centre of Spain, in almost all of the Segovia and Ávila provinces, in Castille and Leon. The idea is to use a small suckling pig (one that only drinks milk) and cook it in the oven in order to get the best contrast between the skin staying crispy and the meat, that will stay tender.

Traditionally it is cooked in a wood-burning oven, that keeps the special flavour of the meat, but also you can prepare it it in an electric oven, more common in houses, and it also achieves a spectacular result.

The best thing about this dish is that the animal is in the limelight, only adding water, salt and some aromatic herbs to its cooking. The suckling pig has to be split in half from head to tail. Prepare it with a mix of rock salt, thyme, oregano and pork fat which covers all of the skin on the outside.

Preheat the oven to 150 ºC and put the suckling pig in a deep oven proof dish, add  a glass of water and laurel leaves but take care that it does not moisten the skin that is facing upwards. For an hour and a half moisten the suckling pig with fat and its own juices.

After this time the suckling pig is almost ready, only need to brown the skin. Turn the oven up to 190ºC and leave for 20 minutes. Cut the suckling pig – the final test of the grand finale is to use a plate instead of a knife – and serve it with your own sauce.

For pairings of wine and suckling pig we have a huge spectrum of possibilities from red wines to whites, fortified wines to sparkling wines; this article presents you with three options for pairing wine and suckling pig. We hope that you find the result useful!

Mauro 2012. One of the basic rules for this pairing is that you would be able to summarise it in the following sentence “If they grow together, eat them together”. So in this context, we would recommend a good Castilian wine. In this case, we have opted for Mauro 2012. A great and powerful wine, profound and robust but marked by a fruity character and good acidity that helps clean the mouth from mouthful to mouthful…

1583 Albariño de Fefiñanes 2013. Although it may seem strange, many wine lovers trust the Albariño variety and its pairing with a suckling pig. The reason is that a suckling pig has not yet formed adipose tissue therefore a good white wine with a good acidity and structure is a great accompaniment. In this case we suggest this great Albariño de Fefiñanes, it is a symbol of DO Rías Baixas with aging in the barrel for 6 months.

Recaredo Brut de Bruts Brut Nature 2005. We close our suggestions for pairing wine and suckling pig with this spectacular cava from Recaredo, one of the great wineries in Penedés. This brut nature shows complexity, depth, elegance and nuances that bring the gastronomic experience to another level. A luxury for the senses.

We hope that these suggestions are adapted to your preferences. Enjoy your meal!

 

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Christmas pairings: Pair wine and Roast Turkey

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We continue our series of recommendations of pairing wines and Christmas dishes with suggestions for one of the most famous and universally celebrated dishes: stuffed Roast Turkey

Turkey is traditionally eaten in the United States on Thanksgiving, and many other European countries consider it as one of the main dishes of Christmas.  Here at Decántalo we have some tricks for its preparation, as well as some ideas and suggestions to pair wine and turkey. You will love them!

maridaje-vino-pavoDelicious Christmas Turkey. © The Scottish Butcher

In order to prepare our fantastic Christmas turkey, we begin by cleaning the meat. Once it is clean, with the help of a baster, we inject sweet wine at certain points in the turkey so that it will stay juicy, we then season it with salt and pepper inside and out. Afterwards, we proceed by stuffing the turkey.

When preparing the stuffing for the turkey each house and each family has their own secret, but generally, everybody comes together with the same common idea: They turn to sweet flavours to contrast wit the meat flavours. It is common to use raisins, prunes, apricots and apples. Pancetta, cut into small pieces, is also usually incorporated into the stuffing, applying the perfect harmony with the general sweetness.

Once all the stuffing ingredients are mixed together the inside of the turkey is filled, tying it up with kitchen twine so that nothing escapes. After this, it is covered with olive oil and…placed in the oven!

So that our Christmas turkey does not dry out, there is a  “watering” at certain times during cooking. It takes 45 minutes per kilo of meat. Once it has cooked, the legs are separated and the breast is sliced and they are served with the filling,

The juice stays in the tray, add white wine and a little bit of chicken stock in order to get a gravy for the turkey.

As for wine and Christmas turkey pairings, we can count a multitude of excellent and different options. In this post we recommend to you more red wines than white wines:

As for white wines, the premise would be to opt for a wine with good structure and acidity and time in the barrel. White wines do not “intimidate” the poultry and gravy, and they offer a perfect counterpoint to the acidity and freshness of the dish. On the other hand, in the case of red wine, we would recommend that you choose wines that are very fresh, fruity with few tannins that will not mask the taste of the dish but enhance it.

These are three recommendations. You will love them!

Viña Gravonia 2005. Possibly one of the most “gastronomic” white wines that we can encounter. Viña Gravonia 2005 is 100% viura with nothing less than 28 months in the barrel, produced by one of the iconic producers in DOCa Rioja: Bodegas López de Heredia. A very special white wine. Body and richness, a red, but with the freshness of a white wine. Surprising. Delicious. 

A mi manera 2014. A bomb of fruit, youthfulness, agility and freshness. Ideal for this type of dish, 100% Tempranillo made by carbonic maceration, it is the most direct wine by Benjamín Romeo, alma mater of Bodegas Contador.

Acusp 2012. One of the varieties that, through subtleness and freshness, is the best pairing with Christmas turkey,  is without doubt is Pinot Noir. On this very special occasion, we suggest the Acusp 2012, a tremendous single variety from the winery Castell d’Encús, made by oneologist Raül Bobet in the Lleida Pyrenees.   A wine that does not leave you indifferent, and proves that it is possible to make great Spanish wines with Pinot Noir as a protagonist.

Enjoy these three suggestion in good company!

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Christmas Pairings: Pair wine and oven baked Sea bream

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Whilst we have written some articles in our special series about recommendations for Christmas pairings, we are progressing a little bit with our menu. So, after talking about pairing wines with soup and pairing wines with sea food, it is the turn of one of the great protagonists of the Christmas dishes in Spain: Exquisite oven baked sea bream.

At Decántalo we can offer some tricks for its preparation, here are some ideas and suggestions to pair wine and sea bream. Take note!

maridaje-besugo-vino

 A delicious portion of Sea Bream © Asador San Martin

As for the preparation of this excellent sea bream, there are no secrets: it is all based on the quality and freshness of the product. The better the raw material, the better the final result. We begin by cutting the potatoes in slices which we place at the bottom of an oven dish with salt and a good splash of extra virgin olive oil.

On top of this delicious bed, we place the seasoned sea bream, scales are clean and the insides have been taken out. We make small fillet cuts, and we add a slice of lemon that will give it a special taste during the oven baking at 170-180º; this is prolonged for approximately an hour. It is important that the fish is golden on the outside, but juicy on the inside.

After the first half hour of cooking, a glass of water is added to the potatoes, this helps keep the food moist in the oven so it does not dry out. Once it is finished, the portions are shared and served accompanied by potatoes.

Due to the delicacy and fineness of the sea bream, our pairing suggestions focus on white and fresh wines with personality, subtle notes from the barrel and all the smoothness with a good job from the lees.

In order to make our three recommendations, we have chosen an excellent cava made entirely from Chardonnay grapes, a variety with body, freshness and structure that we think will go well with this dish,

Take note of our reccommendations. You will love them!

Nisia 2013. An impressive verdejo, grown on extremely old vines (Many of them are pre-phylloxera!) at an altitude of 100 metres. Magnificent expression of this variety. A wine from Rueda produced by Bodegas Jorge Ordóñez which is uncommon but an incredible price. Only 9,70€!

Aloers 2013. Can Creda is the name for this interesting project by Cavas Recaredo  in Penedés that tries to explore and delve into the properties and virtues of the Xarel·lo variety through the ecological and bio-dynamic wine making. This Aloers 2013 is overflowing with freshness and character without renouncing the light and subtle creaminess supported by two months of aging in the barrel with battonage peroids.

Juvé & Camps Millesimé Brut Reserva 2010. We close this trio of strong wines with a sparkling wine from Juvé & Camps. This Millesimé Brut Reserva 2010 is entirely produced with Chardonnay grapes from vineyards that the winery owns in Espiells. Complex and intense. Unctuous, fresh and very, very long. A delight.

These are our three recommendations. And what wine can you recommend for us?

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Christmas pairings: Pairing wine and shellfish

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Continuing our tribute to Christmas pairings, on this occasion we have focused on one of the star dishes of Christmas: The Shellfish.

Shrimps, prawns, crabs, goose barnacles….Exquisite shellfish that shouts out for a good wine pairing.

In this post we suggest some ideas for wine and shellfish pairings,  as well as some culinary tricks in order to enjoy each dish to the full. Take note!

vino-mariscoA tasty seafood platter © Restaurante Macael

When preparing a seafood platter, you only need to have two things however, these are very important: On one hand, the shellfish has to be very fresh and alive. On the other hand, the cooking time has to be perfect. If too much time passes by, the shellfish will be too dry.

There are many recipes and methods to cook shellfish, but our preference is to never cover up the delicious taste of the sea, interfering as little as possible with the flavour. We have prepared at Decántalo some of our favourite shellfish dishes.

Shrimps and Prawns are grilled with a drizzle of olive oil. They are salted on one side, then left for 2-3 minutes and this is then repeated on the other side, adding a pinch of garlic and parsley.

The crab is still alive; it is put in a pot of cold water and laurel leaves with the feet up. Once the water begins to boil, it takes 10 minutes for each kg of crab to cook. After this time, it is left to cool at room temperature. Once cooled, the legs are separated, then the shell and then the meat is taken out with a knife.

The goose barnacles only have one secret: the quality of goose barnacles. The best ones are grow in areas where the swell of the sea is strong against the rocks. They are boiled with little water. Ideally sea water, however if the sea water is not available one can add 70 grams of rock salt for every litre of water. The water is brought to boiling point, then the goose barnacles are added.  The water is left to simmer. When the water starts boiling again, the goose barnacles are ready.

To pair wines and shellfish, we recommend very fresh wines, minerals and a good acidity, preferably whites or  blancs de noirs. Sparkling wines, cavas and champagnes are also perfect pairings with these types of dishes. The iodized character of the shellfish means that we advise against choosing red wines as it will enhance their metallic taste.

Thinking of a good pairing between wine and shellfish? Here we have some recommendations:

Pazo Señorans Selección de Añada 2007. Suggestions in a post about pairing wines and shellfish means that it is impossible not to talk about the Albariño variety. Freshness, acidity, structure… and evidently a undoubtable union between the sea and Galician lands. The Albariño we suggest is not just any Albariño: Aged in deposits on its lees for 30 months, and 12 months resting in the bottle makes this Pazo Señorans an exceptional wine, recently recognised as the Best White Wine in Spain in the new Guía Peñín 2015.

Gramona Imperial Gran Reserva Brut 2008. Sparkling wines, cavas and champagens (can be Gran Reserva) are some of the perfect accompaniments with shellfish. Its broadness and delicacy, good acidity as well as the fine bubbles, help prepare the palate for the each mouthful, always complementing, and without covering up the subtle flavours in the food. As for the pairing we suggest an excellent Gramona Imperial Gran Reserva. A coupage of Xarel·lo and Macabeo with additional contributions of Chardonnay, a variety that works well with these type of dishes.

Lapola 2012. We return to Galicia however moving away from the sea to DO Ribeira Sacra, to present Lapola 2012, a coupage of Godello, Albariño and Doña Blanca. The minerality of the shellfish can be found in certain features which make Lapola the perfect partner. Additionally the wine is broad, sweet and a good acidity. A very interesting pairing!

We encourage you to try them. Enjoy your meal!

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Christmas parings: Pairing wine with Christmas broths

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Some weeks have passed and we are inexorably approaching the great Christmas day. A time to be reunited with family around a large table prepared with traditional tasty recipes and, if possible, well paired with the right wine.

Therefore this is exactly the topic that we want to talk about in this post and what we will sell you in the following days: How to pair wine and Christmas recipes. So we unveil a series of articles with some ideas about how you can pair some of the most traditional dishes, and more complicated pairings with wine: The Christmas Broth

maridaje-vino-caldoTraditional Catalonian Christmas broth. © Cuchillito y Tenedor

The traditional Christmas broth is made from a base of vegetables (carrot, leek, turnip, potato, cabbage) and different meats (chicken, pig and veal) which are boiled in large pot with water. The secret to this Christmas broth is the cooking time, it should be long, between 3 and 5 hours, in order to achieve a concentrated broth, with a lot of flavour. Once it has finished its cooking time, they strain all the ingredients and serve it as a broth.

In Catalonia it is very common to serve the Christmas broth with galets (lumaconi in Italian), a great pasta in the form of a shell, while generally, the rest of Spain adds a hard boiled egg to the broth, cut up into little pieces, and bit of ham.

Additionally, a many parts of the Mediterranean coast they usually add Pelotas, small meatballs of mincemeat and pine nuts to the broth, that have been boiled for the last 20 minutes with the broth. The broth marks the beginning of the feats, and attacks the meat and vegetables left in the pot.

In order to pair up the wines and the Christmas broth we recommend that you decant the finos and mazanillas from Jerez (a salty character and sharp acidity from these wines that go well with broths and consommé) as well as fresh red wines with wooden notes, preferibaly second year, and modern tannins of the syrah, Grenache and pinot noir varieties.

Here are three reccomendations.

Manzanilla Papirusa Lustau. A surprising manzanilla aged in soleras under the flor, influenced by a humid microclimate and the sea breeze from the mouth if the Guadalquivir River. A versatile wine, salty and very refreshing.

Cara Nord 2013. A very interesting wine made with grenache, syrah and  small contributions from other local grapes produced by  Tomás Cusiné in DO Conca de Barberá. Freshness, minerality, broadness, fruitiness and a rustic character that we think would go well with a good Christmas broth.

Manga del Brujo 2012. Another coupage dominated by grenache and syrah with contributions of tempranillo and mazuela. A very interesting wine, from the oenological hands and scottish Master of Wine Norrel Robertson. Polished, enveloping and well measured sweetness.

We encourage you to try them. Enjoy your meal and these good wines!

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Spanish wines with the best quality-price ratio according to Robert Parker

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Although it was not scheduled in the offical editorial calendar for publication, The Wine Advocate welcomes an interesting and special article this December, signed by no less than Robert Parker himself.

On this occasion, the gurú focuses his attention on a search for the wines with the best quality-price ratio on the market. For him, he assessed wines with a price lower than 25$ in the USA, a portfolio of four of distributors and importers favourite wines.

pkjrRobert Parker Jr. © SCMP

As a general conclusion, we have to say that Spanish wine triumphed the list, clearly imposing on the rest of the international competitors, and confirming once again that we are one of the production countries of reference in terms of quality-price.

Below we review some of the wines with the best points, available on our website:

Alvear Pedro Ximénez de Añada 2013 Nothing less than 93 Parker points for less than 9€ which transforms this 100% PX from DO Montilla-Moriles into one of the sweet wines with the best quality-price ratio on the market. A perfect finish to a good meal.

Almirez 2012. A spectacular price-quality ratio from this 100% tinta de toro from D.O. Toro that has 93 Parker points. Pure fruit in a glass. Long and balanced. A small gem which is affordable for everyone that Parker ends up buying with other great wines from the north of Rhône.

Romanico 2012. Following DO Toro, without even moving from the winery, it seem that the wines from the Teso la Monja winery are liked, especially by Robert Parker: 92 Parker points for Romanico 2012. An excellent point, difficult to find in red wines less than 10€.

Portal 11. We travel to DO Terra Alta to stress the 92 Parker points gained by this coupage of grenache, cariñena, syrah and tempranillo from the Celler Piñol winery. A lot of fruit, minerality and subtle spices on the nose and an impeccable balance on the nose. An intelligent purchase!

Bozeto de Exopto 2013. We close this small section by travelling to DOCa Rioja, the land where they make this impeccable coupage of grenache, tempranillo and graciano. A seductive and fragrant wine that succeeds in combining a crispy and vibrant fruit with a good contribution from the wood. 91 Parker points for less than 7€. A bargain!

What are you waiting for? Try them!

Discover our complete list of Spanish wines tasted by Parker (dic 2014) 

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Wine news this December at Decántalo

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We have reached a new month, the last month of the year, and at Decántalo we are enjoying the arrival of a selection of new wines this December to offer you as they have formed a part of our portfolio of more than 2000 Spanish wines.

Do not miss out on the selection of our favourite wines, ideal for Christmas time. New vintages and references available for you on our website. Enjoy them!

novedades-diciembre-2

Más de Leda 2012. We begin our selection by travelling to Leon lands in order to present a new vintage from Más de Leda, Bodegas Leda (Masaveu Bodegas). A red wine with a very very interesting aging, balanced and easy to drink.

Hacienda López de Haro Gran Reserva 2008. We welcome to our website a new red wine from the Bodega Clássica family. A winery with character that gives us good wines at very competitive prices. On this occasion, we present the new López de Haro Gran Reserva 2008. Very recommendable!

Raventós y Blanc de la Finca 2011 . A Christmas toast without a good sparkling wine would be boring. Luckily, the new vintage, De la Finca 2011, has arrived. One of the best quality to price ratios in the Penedes. Fresh, well structured and equally elegant.  You will love it!

Numanthia 2011. We continue with this pseudo-christmas selection, by welcoming a new vintage which is one of the heavyweights in DO Toro: Numanthia 2011. All character. A powerful wine, very rich in nuances. A pleasure.

 Raventós i Blanc la Rosa 2014. Little by little they begin to release the first wines of the 2014 vintage onto the market. We think it is a good idea to introduce these new vintages with one of our favourite rosé wines: La Rosa de Raventós i Blanc. A Burgundian style rosé wine (2014) that shows more freshness, fragrance and elegance than usual.

novedades-diciembre-1

 

Dominio de Valdepusa Cabernet Sauvignon 2010. Coinciding with the great success achieved in the Wine Spectator awards, this wine has been considered as one of the top 100 wines in the world in 2014, we welcome at Decántalo this 100% Cabernet from the Marqués de Griñón family. An elegant wine and very varietal. Perfect to put on the table.

Llopart Leopardi Gran Reserva Brut Nature 2009. We return to sparkling wine land because it deserves it on these occasions. Time to introduce the new Llopart Leopardi vintage, without doubt one of our favourite cavas. Aging in the bottle for 50 months which denotes a subline complexity without losing any freshness.

El Marciano 2013. We celebrate the incorporation of this magnificent Grenache from Sierra de Gredos to Decántalo. A bomb of fruitiness and minerality that reflects some of the lands where it is produced. An authentic wine only like a few others. Special mention for the original label. We love it!

Protos Gran Reserva 2005. A new vintage from one of the great classics in Ribera del Duero: Protos Gran Reserva. A serious, rich, profound and velvety wine.

Enate Chardonnay 234 2014. We finish this month’s selection with a new glimpse from wines that have been released this year. In this case, the highlight is always the interesting Enate 234 Chardonnay. A white wine from Somontano with intense aromas, freshness and unctuous.  Perfect accompaniment to shellfish and fish.

We encourage you to try them, you will like them!

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7 tips for giving wine at Christmas

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It seems as though the Christmas lights have arrived in towns and shopping centres, we are fully entering into the Christmas shopping season, and like every year, we have to think about presents for family and friends.

On these occasions you want to choose a good gift, but it can sometimes be more complicated than hoped and therefore, we suggest that you cannot go wrong with our solution: Wine as a gift.

regalar-vino

When we give wine, we are giving tradition, history, love for detail but above all, great moments in the company of others. Is this not the best present?

Therefore, if you are thinking on giving a good wine this Christmas and still are not sure why you have decided to, pay attention to the following tips:

 1 – Adapt to your budget

The first premise: The most expensive wine is not necessarily the best wine, so if your budget is a little tight this Christmas then take into account that a good quality wine does not have to be expensive.

Spain is a country that produces wine with, possibly, the best price to quality ratio in the world. So enjoy it!

2 – Know the taste of the person who will receive the present

There are so many wines that exist to suit a variety of palates, so before you decide on the wine, stop and think about the tastes and character of the person who is going to receive the wine. The situation, their relationship with you and the age of the recipient could all influence your final decision.

 3 – A present that says a lot about you

One of the reasons we like to give wine is because it is a gift that says a lot about the person who gives it and about the person who receives it.

If you have a creative side and you want your gift to be creative as well, you can decide on a trendy wine, from any Denomination of Origin or variety that is not very well known or is made with unique wine making techniques. An example of the best gift of this kind would be  Loxarel 109 Gran Reserva 2002. A colossal sparkling wine from DO Penedes with very limited production, made following the precepts of biodynamic farming and marketing, unlike other sparkling wines with disgorging.

If you are someone who does not like to take too many risks, and wants to ensure that the gift is a triumph from the very beginning, one solution may be to give a classic wine with a good structure. A traditional wine that combines character, prestige and quality. What about a wine with a long aging from Rioja or Ribera del Duero like Castillo Ygay Gran Reserva 2005 or Pesquera Reserva Especial 2003? Success guaranteed.

4 – Size matters

If you are thinking about giving a wine, another very interesting idea would be to give a magnum bottle. The magnum bottles have the capacity of a litre and a half, and are spectacular, a lot more than a normal bottle of wine. All of the best wines are bottled in Magnums as well, so you can decide the wine you want; its quality is a guarantee.

Additionally, it is ideal for special celebrations of 3 or 4 people where a traditional bottle of wine falls slightly short, allowing better preservation. Discover here our selection of Magnum wines.

5 – Enjoy Special Presentation

Another good option is to resort to a huge selection of gift boxed wines that the wineries release onto the market for the Christmas period. The special presentation of these wines means that they are meant to be presents.

They always present the gift boxes with the idea of them being given as gifts. Do not miss out on the selection of gift box wines and special presentation wines that we have chosen for you.

6 – Attention to the vintages

If the person who is going to receive the wine is a wine lover, they will appreciate wines, especially good vintages, from different wine making areas: Priorat 2009, Rioja 2001 and 2004, Ribiera del Duero 2009 and 2010…

A nice touch is to note your interest when choosing the present.

7 – Keep an eye on the special Guides

Finally, another good ally when choosing the best wine gift can be the ratings from some of the special guides in the sector, such as Parker Guide or Peñín Guide. Despite the controversy that is sometimes generated, it is evident that they play an important role and are useful for consumers who are not specialised. Additionally, who would not want to receive a wine with 100 Parker points like Don PX Convento Selección 1946 for example?

Whatever the occasion, do not hesitate to give wine as a gift. Get it right!

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The different Denomination of Origins in Aragon, seen by The Wine Advocate

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The magazine The Wine Advocate, led by guru Robert Parker, in November, inaugurated the publication of new articles dedicated to Spanish wines, including a thorough review of the Denominations of Origin in Aragon.

On this occasion, Luís Gutiérrez, the Parker emissary for Spain, Argentina and Chile, passed reviews on wine denominations like DO Cariñena, DO Campo de BorjaDO Calatayud and DO Somontano, placing special emphasis on the analysis of Grenache wines.

campo-de-borjaLandscape of the vineyards in DO Campo de Borja. Photographer: Ramiro Tarazona

Curiously, it can be said that it is very likely that the origin of this variety is found in any place in Aragon lands. Anyway, these are the ratings from Luis Gutiérrez for the Aragon Denominations:

The Denomination of Origin Calatayud, 3500 hectares, is the smallest in all of Aragon. Gutiérrez rated the DO from Aragon with great potential, with the capacity of producing the most elegant wines in Aragon. Wines like those from El Escocés Volante winery, owned by Scottish Master of Wine Norrel Robertson, are a good example. We invite you to discover their Manga del Brujo 2012, that has been awarded 91 Parker points. Pure expression at an unbeatable price.

The DO Campo de Borja, highlights the high intensity of their wines, as well as being the denomination with the largest area of old vineyards in Aragon. Noted as top rated wines from Gutiérrez’s visit to Aragon lands in this DO, specifically from a winery quite accustomed to top rankings: Alto Moncayo.

Luis Gutiérrez defines the DO Cariñena, the largest and oldest denomination in Aragón, as lacking some new initiatives. In his own words, they are missing something like hunger and new blood. However, this discussion does not detract from the excellent scores that the wines from this DO have, like the interesting Care Bancales 2010, awarded with a well-deserved 90 Parker points.

Finally, it is DO Somontano which stands out for Gutiérrez as very special wines produced in Valle de Secastilla, which are wines defined by their own personality and great potential. The main wineries in the area are, Viñas del Vero and Bodegas Enate, that always receive the right points.

Four interesting Denominations of Origin with a lot to offer. Do not miss out!

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