New Wave Whites

Spain is doubtless a red-wine country, but don’t dismiss the country’s other white wines

If you’ve ever had Spanish white wines, it’s likely that they were made from one of the three better-known Spanish grapes. If you had a white Rioja, one of the most internationally popular Spanish white wines, you were enjoying the juice from Viura (also known as Macabeo) grapes.

You may have been fascinated by the Rias Baixas wines, made from Albarino grapes (probably the most expensive and delicate Spanish white wines), also known as the Spanish Chablis.

Or perhaps you have come across one of the most widely enjoyed Spanish white wine, the Verdejo. A beautiful floral wine, with lots of tropical nuances, very similar to a good Sauvignon Blanc, but with reduced acidity.

However, Spain has many, some yet to be discovered internationally, amazing white grapes that are used to produce unique delicious wines.

My favorite, perhaps, is Txakoli. Made in some regions of the Basque Country in Northern Spain, from an almost forgotten grape, Hondarrabi Zuri, that delivers crisp, highly mineral wines, and not easy to find outside its local region.

Further to the South of Rias Baixas, you can find the Bierzo region, which has become famous because of its amazing mineral red wines. Not many people know that the region also produces three fantastic white grapes: Godello, Dona Blanca and Palomino (the grape used for Sherry), delivering some very interesting white wines.

Without leaving the area, but closer to Rias Baixas, we find the unknown Ribeiro, whose crisp wines are mostly produced from Treixadura (and sometimes Loureiro, Albillo, and other local grapes) grapes. They are nice and fresh, but almost impossible to find outside the area. These are young wines, made and sold locally during the year of production.

One of my recent discoveries is the Tempranillo, but the white one. Yes, there is a white Tempranillo, a result of natural mutation of red Tempranillo grapes and Viura, which over the centuries has appeared mostly in Rioja. I have not tried many wines produced from White Tempranillo grapes because there are only a handful of wineries producing it, and in limited quantities, but those that I tried I loved.

Another white grape that is making its debut internationally is Albilllo. Mostly grown in the center of the country, it is sometimes added to Ribera del Duero wines because it is highly aromatic.

Finally, the widespread Airen grapes, which are mostly harvested for making brandy, but some wineries are making rather nice, inexpensive wines with them.

Share this story, choose your platform!

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest
Share on tumblr
Share on google
Share on linkedin
Share on reddit
Share on vk
Share on email
About the author:

Leave a Comment

Delightful Coffee Shops in D7

Text by Marco Bouwer Ho Chi Minh City does not take a step back for any city when it comes to coffee culture. It is home to thousands of independent coffee shops, which is a treat if you’re used to a city overran by the big international coffee brands. There’s adventure in discovering unique little

Read More »

Behind the Label

Is French wine about to hit bottom? France has the worldwide reputation for producing the best, and usually, the most expensive wines in the world. The five first growths of Bordeaux, also known as the Grand Crus, even though they are mass produced in the hundreds of thousands of bottles, easily reach astronomic prices around

Read More »

From a Virtual Restaurant to your Dining Table

No longer must restaurateurs rent space for a dining room to serve diners, Oi speaks to Rukmini Makkar about her new business What inspired you to start FEURO, and what does ” FEURO ” mean? Saigon is a vibrant melting pot of cultures, and has a wide array of delicious cuisines to offer, the founders

Read More »

Eat More Vegetables

Exploring Vietnam’s best vegetarian ingredients For many, Vietnam is a paradise for vegetarians of all kinds. Restaurants roll out a vegetarian menu for the first and 15th of every month for those looking for a bit of soul purification. Home cooks revel in a huge assortment of fruits and vegetables, changing with the season. And

Read More »

A Good Rose Is Good

Rosé rules. There are no ifs, ands, or buts about it. Rosé wines are some of the most undervalued wines in the world. There are no particular reasons for this other than perhaps ignorance and misunderstanding them. In Asia, rosé wines are considered bad because “they are made from the bad red and white wines

Read More »

Chinese Comfort Food

Longstanding establishment Café Central opens a new location in District 5 Among Saigon’s most prominent food & beverage groups, WMC has long been known for its range of restaurant styles and signature menus that are always designed to appeal to broad tastes in dining. This year, the group has launched its latest venue by returning

Read More »