It’s funny how people like to stay within their comfort zones. When most of us get into wine, it’s usually a question of French or Italian. As we explore deeper, we are introduced to the wines of Australia, Germany, Napa Valley, and Spain. Take it a step further, and you might find yourself sampling wines from South Africa, Austria, Argentina, Chile, and Portugal. However, at the end of the day, most wine drinkers find their comfort zones in the regions that they started with. That is a very sad thing.
If I didn’t force myself to explore wine further, I would have never discovered the lace-covered brute force behind priorat, the depths that a vintage port can reach, or the absolutely seductive allure of an old rioja. Obviously, I’m talking about Spain and Portugal, two regions that have been producing fine wine for centuries. It’s not just about ancient bottles of port and rioja, either (although they are wonderful). Both regions are turning out traditional and modern-styled wines that would tempt a lover of Old World and modern styles alike.
What’s more, they are unique from all other regions. I find that there’s something of a wild core to the wines of Spain, with rich yet structured textures that lend well to foods on the table. Meanwhile, Portugal’s wine industry continues to morph and grow with exciting new wines that are stunning yet have great value. It’s a good time to be drinking wines from Spain and Portugal, and that makes it an even better time to think about what you want to pair with them.
Click here to find pairings for rioja wines, vintage ports, and more.
— Gregory Del Piaz, Snooth