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Tempranillo

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All About Tempranillo

Spain's top red wine, Tempranillo is a natural pick for fans of Cabernet Sauvignon and Sangiovese. A classic variety delivers flavors of leather and cherries with a smooth finish, while those from the new world pack a ton of cherry and tomato-sauce flavor.  It's full-bodied, but due to the relatively thin skins of the large Tempranillo grapes, it will be more translucent in in color. The vast majority of Tempranillo wine is made in Spain, though varieties from Portugal, Argentina, France and Australia can also be found.

Where Is Tempranillo Produced?

Surprise, surprise! The majority of Tempranillo wine comes from Spain. But you can also find varieties from Portugal, Argentina, France, the United States and Australia. No matter where your bottle comes from, you can expect a full-bodied wine that might be less opaque than you'd expect. Due to the relatively thin skins of the large Tempranillo grapes, this wine is a somewhat translucent red. But don't call this wine soft.

How Does It Taste?

Any Cabernet Sauvignon fans out there? You'll find tons of similarities here. A classic bottle of Tempranillo delivers flavors of leather and cherries with a smooth finish. Those from New World vineyards tend to pack in a ton of cherry and tomato sauce flavor. The best bottles of Tempranillo bring together both fruitiness and earthiness into one heavenly liquid.

How to Serve Tempranillo:

We've all been there before. You're dying to try a great new bottle of wine, but you make the mistake of serving it at the wrong temperature like a noob! To enjoy your first, fifth or 50th glass of Tempranillo to the fullest, serve it slightly cool, between 59 and 64 degrees. Pour it into a Rioja or Tempranillo glass and enjoy.

Types of Tempranillo You Have to Try:

If you're treating yourself to a bottle of Spanish Tempranillo, you get to choose its age, too. Don't worry, it's way less creepy than it sounds. Look for one of these four standard aging terms:

  • Vin Joven: The youngest types of Spanish Tempranillo, these bottles are for immediate enjoyment.
  • Crianza: These bottles are aged for two years, with six months of that in oak barrels.
  • Reserva: These Tempranillos are aged for three years, with one year in oak barrels to add tons of rich, full-bodied flavor.
  • Gran Reserva: These reds age for at least five years with 18 months or more in oak barrels. Considered the finest bottles of Tempranillo, these are truly outstanding.

Best Pairings:

Due to its savory qualities, Tempranillo pairs well with almost any food you're going to shove in your face-hole. But it goes especially well with Spanish food like roasted veggies and cured meats. Give it a go with some roast lamb, grilled chicken, tomato-based sauces, polenta or richly spiced Mexican food. Basically, it's going to be delicious no matter what.

How Do You Say Tempranillo?

Tempranillo Pronunciation: Tempranillo = "Temp-rah-NEE-oh"