Attention fellow appreciators of wine,
You have spoken and by popular accord, the ball has been rolled into action. Wine shall be held on the 28th of February 2009 at the apartment of Vanessa Merina, whom we would like to thank for so graciously hosting us, and your presence is cordially requested. The focus of the wine shall be the country of Spain. Bring forth a bottle of Spanish wine to share and savor. The varietal matters not for we are sampling all that Spain has to offer, though Spain is better known for their reds.
Okay enough with the posh language. So what better way to close out the month of February then to have a completely relaxed and informal sampling of wines from Spain? No worries if you're new to wine for this is a nice way to start learning about wine while amongst the company of good friends. For those who aren't familiar with the vernacular, varietal means grape type, e.g. Chardonnay or Cabernet Sauvignon (a little more about the varietals that Spain has to offer later). So just bring a bottle of Spanish wine to share and come and learn a little more about the nectar of the gods. Mostly importantly though, come and enjoy some good wine with some good company.
Date: Saturday, 28th of February
Time: 7 p.m.
Location: Vanessa Merina's apartment (please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you want directions on how to get there, it's close to campus).
Some helpful tips in selecting your wine. If you're unfamiliar with a producer of Spanish wine, you could look for the special designation, Denominación de Origen Calificada (DOCa), Spain uses to control the quality of its wines. In theory the special designation Denominación de Origen (DO) would also indicate a quality wine, but for a while the Spanish government was handing out DO status like candy to wine-growing areas until it lost its significance.
As mentioned earlier, Spain is more known for their red wines. You'll most likely find their two native red grapes, Tempranillo and Garnacha. Spain's three major red wine growing regions are Rioja, Ribera del Duero, and Penedes. Rioja is where Spain's red wine wineries started and considering its proximity to the French border it's no coincidence. A certain amount of additional age and quality go hand in hand with red Rioja wines. Some important terms to look for on the label to help you make your selection are "Crianza", "Reserva", and "Gran Reserva". Crianza refers to a wine that has undergone a total of two years of aging with a minimum of one year in an oak barrel. Reserva refers to a wine that has undergone a total of three years of aging with a minimum of one year in an oak barrel. Gran Reserva refers to a wine that has undergone a total of five years of aging with a minim
um of two years in an oak barrel.
While better known for their robust red wines, Spanish white wines have recently revealed a fresh and vibrant side. Look for white wines made from the Albariño grape in the Rías Baixas region or the Verdejo grape in the Rueda region. For the more familiar Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc look for wines from the Penedés region. Chardonnay produces a fuller bodied wine so those of you who would like a lighter bodied wine would enjoy the crisp wines produced from the Albariño grape.