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Doesn’t it feel like we honor a national food holiday every other day? From chocolate, peaches, grilled cheese sandwiches, to pancakes, America has even started celebrating National Nacho Day. It becomes a little overwhelming. Still, when my hubby and I heard that the whole world would be toasting the robust Tempranillo variety of wine on Thursday, Nov. 12 during International #TempranilloDay, we said in unison, “HOORAY!” Now this is one food/beverage holiday we can wholeheartedly support! Tempranillo wines, especially the varieties from the Rioja region of Spain, are absolutely our favorite.

Rioja is the wine named after the region of La Rioja in Northern Spain. La Rioja is most famous for its wines made with Tempranillo grapes that grow well in the region’s dry climate. La Rioja is in the Ebro River Valley, and its seven small tributaries create the valleys of Rioja. In ancient times, the tributaries were more like rivers, but as the climate has changed, these rivers have become small streams that in some cases nearly dry up by harvest.

Rioja Tempranillo Infographic

Tempranillo wines pair nicely with a variety of foods, especially Latin cuisine. One of our favorite wines is a 2012 Carlos Serres. The Tempranillo grapes for this wine were sourced from a select group of growers around Haro who have long-term exclusive contracts with the winery. The vineyards are on average 10-20 years old. The winery jointly manages the vitaculture in these vineyards throughout the year to ensure maximum quality of fruit for these wines.

Maroon color with a violet rim showing its youth. Aromas of fresh, red and black fruit, liquorice and floral notes. The taste is fresh and fruity,intense and moreish. Ideal for a great variety of dishes such as cut fatty meats (Spanish chorizo, prosciutto, etc.), rice dishes, vegetables, cheeses, salads and stews.

Carlos Serres Tempranillo

There’s only a handful of good Spanish restaurants here in Los Angeles and most are quite a drive away from our home. I prefer to go to my local store and pick up all the items I need for a tapas night at the Chavez-Rodriguez household. We’ll pick up a mixture of good quality olives, sardines, manchego cheese, a french baguette that we slice and toast with a little butter and garlic, Spanish chorizo and other cold cuts, grapes and dried apricots drizzled ever so slightly with honey. Pick up a couple of good bottles of Tempranillo wine, and let’s face it. You need a couple of bottles as one is NEVER enough. We’re set for the night!

Enjoy your celebration of international #TempranilloDay and remember to drink responsibly!

Tempranillo cork pic

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