1. How good would you say your selection of Spanish wines and Portuguese wines are in your local wine market?
If you shop in some of the better wine stores here in the Twin Cities — such as Solo Vino, France 44 or Surdyk’s — you will find a decent selection of Spanish wines and a few well chosen bottles from Portugal (reds, mostly). In most other stores you’ll see a few lower end Tempranillo and the ubiquitous Marqués de Riscal, but really nothing outside of Porto as far as Portuguese wines go. So I’d say that we have an average selection of Spanish wines here that is growing in popularity as the market better understands the value of many of these wines.
If you exclude Port/Rioja/ and Sherry how is the selection?
Average, as I noted in your first question. You can find several Spanish regional wines from Ribera del Duero, Rueda and Priorato in addition to the more widely distributed Rioja and Sherry. Outside of Porto and a few inexpensive reds, I have not seen many Portuguese wines, but I haven’t been seeking them out either.
2. What’s the last Spanish or Portuguese wine you had and what did you think of it? Would you buy it again? Got a tasting note?
It was for Wine Blogging Wednesday 22, which I hosted; a Viña Albali, “Altos de Tamaron”, Tinto, Ribera del Duero 2002. No, I wouldn’t buy this one again as there are many better wines from Spain (and elsewhere) in this price range. I have another Tempranillo in the cellar I will be tasting and blogging notes on later this week.
1. What is one question you have about Iberian wine in general?
I’m reading quite a bit about how good Portuguese red wines are and would like to explore this region for one of my podcasts. What 3 wines, $25 USD or less, would you choose for a tasting that would give me an idea of the quality of these wines?
With Gabriella in the States, I took advantage of her situation to research the Iberian wines currently available overseas. In Iberia, people know that Portugal can produce great still wines that are both fantastic values and of incredible quality. For this reason, it’s sometimes frustrating for me to hear about the small quantities of it available in the US. I’ve sent Tim a few recommendations for his show coming up and I hope he let’s us know when he posts it. Afterwards, we will make sure to let you know which wines we recommend on our site. However, I do want to point towards an interesting site called: GrapeMoments.com. Jack M. Couto, the importer for Grape Moments, is doing his best to get the gems of Portugal into the US market. Looking at their portfolio of Portuguese wines, I believe he’s on the right track with the wines he has chosen! So if your in the States, and looking for a good Portuguese red, send them a note and see which wines they have available in your State!
If you want to take part in Catavino’s 2+1 Iberian Wine Survey, send us a note at: comments(.at.)catavino(.dot.)com