Tell us What You Know about Rioja Wine?! | Catavino
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Tell us What You Know about Rioja Wine?!

Hey Rioja Fans!

Well, I can tell you with out a doubt that there is more information on Rioja than I possibly know what do to with. From wine routes to wineries, we’re overwhelmed with the amount of cool tips and basic facts we need to impart to you. In all honesty, it reminds me of walking into a candy store at age six and feeling so flushed with shock and excitement over the variety of incredibly delicious looking treats laid out before me that the only thing I know how to do is smile. That, my friends, is exactly how I feel! And considering that our experiences with Rioja have been limited at best, everything that’s been coming into our mailbox and through our email looks worthy of an article.

That said, I figured the best way to ring in the upcoming months was to throw the ball in your court and see if I can’t entice you to share a story or two about your own experiences. So have it! We’ve included some questions that are of interest to us, but if you have a more exciting tale to tell, we’re giving you free reign!

  • Having divulged my “first” Rioja wine with you, can you dig deep into your own memory bank and draw up the first time your lips touched a wine from Rioja? What was it and was it any good?
  • Assuming that you’ve become fanatic Spanish wine drinkers as a result of us (well, a girl can dream), what ranks as your creme de la creme Rioja wine, and what makes it do good?
  • If you had the full attention of someone from D.O.C.a Rioja or a winemaker, what question have you always wanted to know about the wines, the region, the regulations or the history?


  • Gabriella

    I'm with Ryan in my regret that we haven't explored the region more extensively since our arrival to the Peninsula, but when looking at the number of Rioja wines we've collected over the past few weeks alone, I think we're about to have an eye-opening experience. Although I can't remember the very first Rioja wine I've ever tried, I can remember my first in Spain: 2004 El Coto Crianza. As for my favorite, I couldn't tell you simply because my experience has been so limited. So, you'll just have to wait until our newsletter is published 😉 In regards to questions I have for the DOCa, I'm interested to know what prompted their acceptance of both Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc as permitted white varietals, what the tradition is behind wrapping a bottle in gold netting, and what their vision is for the region now that they have been voted as the "best wine region in the world" by Wine Spectator?

  • My first Rioja was probably a Faustino Reserva or a CUNE. Rioja was the red wine that began my love affair for pairing wine and food, especially charcoal grilled lamb. My favorite Rioja would have to be either the Ganuza or the 2001 Muga Seleccion Especial. What I love about a well made Rioja is the robust rounded balance and silky vanilla-tinged tannins. It is without doubt one of my red favorite wines in the world. Viva La Rioja!

  • Wine Scamp

    I can’t quite remember what my first Rioja was, but it was probably a simple Marques de Caceres or something like that. I came away thinking “Oh, cherries and cream, nice!”

    I’d have to say my top, most revered Rioja would have to be Ramirez de Ganuza, because it’s just awesome.

    I guess I’d like to know from Rioja producers… what, if they could make their perfect wine, it would taste like?

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  • dom

    Hi Ryan,
    I thought Chivite wines were just DO Navarra. I have just learn't something new today.
    Thanks Ryan