When planning for a trip, there are always some important aspects to take into consideration; what is there to see and do, how is the weather and how is the food. That last question is especially important for the foodies amongst us. And what is more enjoying in life than some good Spanish food with a great glass of Rioja or some delicious tapas accompanied by a cold local beer? In the Mad4You blog of November we will tell you all about the best Spanish wines and beers and with which types of food to pair them. When you visit Madrid you will be well prepaired to order and enjoy the Spanish gastronomy as a local!
Our top white wines
This is the famous sparkling wine of Spain. You’ll mostly find Cava production in Catalunia in the northeast near Barcelona. The production of Cava is done with the same method as the French Champaign. Cava can be white or rosé and is usually a blend of Xarel-lo, Macabéo, and Parellada grapes. Cavas are usually dry, but like Champagne, the sweetness is indicated on the label as Brut or Semi-Seco. If you’re looking for not-too-pricey sparkling wine for a special occasion, Cava is a a great choice.
The first white wine we recommend is from the Albariño grape. If you choose an Albariño wine you know you will always have a great wine, it is never a wrong choice. Albariño is produced in Galicia, a province in the north of Spain. Galicia is internationally famous for its high-quality wines and perhaps you have already heard of Albariño or Ribeiro when shopping for wines in your own country. Albariño has special aromas of fruits, like apricot and citrus, and of flowers like jasmin and also balsamic and other herb aromas. Albariño wines have won many prices in Spain and we definitely recommend you to try it. It might just become your favorite white wine.
Verdejo – Rueda
Verdejo is a typical grape from the Rueda region, which is located in the province of Valladolid. Rueda wines are always well-priced wines and have a great flavor. The flavor consists of aromas of apple, anise, herbs, with acidity and some bitterness.
The Spanish Godello grape (pronounced God-a-yo) is the second most prestigious Atlantic white, after Albarino. Godello is a grape of Portuguese origine that has gained much popularity overseas as well (Australia and New Zealand). The grapes are grown in the northwest of Spain, in particular in Galicia. Originally the Godello grapes were located in the town of Godella (Valencia) back in the 19th century. Unpopular for a while, it has recently gained a resurrection among Spanish winemakers because of the high-quality sparkling wines it produces. Here are 3 Reasons to try Godello:
- You are looking for something similar to Chardonnay, without getting a Chardonnay
- You are having nice a seafood dish and you need a good accompanying wine
- You love Spanish red wines, but haven’t yet founda Spanish white wine to love yet
Our top red wines
On the label of many red wines, you’ll find the words Crianza, Reserva or Gran Reserva. They indicate the minimum time the wines are aged. Crianza indicates at least two years of total ageing, with at least one year in barrel. Reservas age three years, with a minimum of one year in barrel. Gran Reservas age at least two years in a barrel and three in bottle. These requirements are merely minimums, and most winehouses age their wines for much longer before release.
Tempranillo – Rioja
When a wine is labelled only Rioja you can assume it’s a basic type of Tempranillo. These wines don’t have the tannin structure or oak flavors that are common in the higher end wines.
What they don’t have in structure they make up for in zippy fruit. This level of Rioja is a great red wine to drink as an aperitivo, accompanying tapas and dinner. Also locally known as Tinto Fino, there is a hint of a Pinot Noir quality. Tempranillo wine has many different names like
Tinta Roriz, Ull de Llebre, Tinta de Toro, Aragonez, Cencibel, Tempranilla, Tinto Fino, Tinto del País. In the Crianza, Reservas and Gran Reservas we can taste the distinguishing the oak flavour, so typical for thios wine.
Top wines Madrid region
You can find single varietal Garnacha around Madrid, where old vines in high elevation vineyards produce concentrated wines. This wine can reach an alcohol percentage of 14% and is consumed with heavy more heavy meals.
Ribera del Duero
This great red wine is made with a minimum 75% of the Tempranillo grape; at the most 95% of the grape should be Tempranillo, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot or Malbec. The Garnacha and Albillo grapes are added, but in small quantities.
Top beer Madrid region and beyond
Beer is the favorite drink by Spaniards. Over 50% of the population of Spain are said to choose beer over any other alcoholic drink.
Mahou is the beer made in Madrid and is pronounced ¨maaow¨. You will see it everywhere in the city but you also get famous European beers like Heineken, Amstel and Warsteiner.
La Quince is made by La Quince Brew Wild brewery in Madrid. They are a popular alternative Brand and started in 2015. They have four different types of beer: Standard, Temporada, Colaboraciones and Edicion Limitada. Each of these has a wide variety of different tastes. Have a look at their cool website http://laquincebrewery.com/cervezasedicioneslimitadas.html.
Founded in 1904 by the Osborne brothers, this brewery still produces high quality beers. Highly popular thropughout Spain they serve five permanent and two limited editions craft beers. Their bottled beer comes in different varieties and tastes.
Draught / draft beers and craft beers are the beers the bar has on tap, and they’re generally fresher than the bottled selection. And the main difference between these is draught/draft beer is filtered and pasteurised, but craft beer is served without filtering and pasteurising, with a little yeast in it and has generally a heavier body.
Most beers in Spain contains between 4% and 5.5% alcohol.
Other typical Spanish drinks to try when visiting Madrid
Sangria… One of the first words that pops in mind when thinking about Spain. Although Sangria is a drink especially popular amongst tourists, we do recommend you to try it. Some bars serve it per glass and other per jar for when with a group of hostel-friends. Sangria is made from red wine, orange juice, sweet wine, lemon juice, sugar, cinnamon and pieces of fresh fruit (like orange, apple and peach). It is very refreshing, but be carefull! The natural- and articificial sugars can make the alcohol in this drink travel very fast to the brain.
Tinto de Verano
Tinto de Verano, summer red in English, is a more popular drink among the locals in Spain. Especially people who are not a big fan or wine and beer seem to order a sweet and cold tinto de verano. It is very similar to Sangria, but less sweet and easier to make. There are two types of tinto de verano: con gaseosa or con limón. Tinto de verano con gaseosa is red wine with gaseosa, which is a soda similar to Sprite, a slice of lemon and loads of ice cubes. Tinto de verano con limón (our personal favorite) is red wine with fanta lemon, a slice of lemon and loads of ice cubes. Pick out a nice terrace in Malasaña, order a delicious tinto de verano and emerge in the city of Madrid as a true local.
A drink very popular among the teenagers of Spain. Originally the drink comes from Basque Country and therefore not many people in Madrid order it. The mix consists of equal parts of red wine and coca-cola. Plenty of ice cubes are added, which makes this drink another fresh and sweet drink to enjoy when visiting Spanish territory.
You are coming to the end of the blog article of this month. We hope that you enjoyed the post, learned something new about wines, beers and other Spanish beverages, but most of all we hope we have made you enthusiastic to come to Madrid and try all these delicious drinks yourself.
If you liked this blog post, about “Famous Spanish wines and beers”, we also recommend that you read the one that we wrote about “The Best Brewpubs in Madrid”:
Moreover, we wrote a very cool blog about the best places to drink wine in the neighborhood of the hostel, Malasaña, in the article ¨ Best Wine Bars in the Neighborhood (Malasaña)¨. Check it out here:
Of course, all those Delicious drinks ask for Delicious food. Check out our blog called ¨Food of Madrid¨ in which we recommend you the best places to eat in Madrid and what to order:
And lastly, for our budget-travellers, check out the article ¨ Tapas? Good idea! Free tapas? EVEN BETTER!¨ For the best places to receive free tapas with the drinks you order:
Please, do not forget that for anything you may need in Madrid or any question you may have about our Mad4You Hostel, you can always contact us by writing to firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 0034 915 217 549. We will be happy to help you with anything you may need.
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Hope to see you soon at Mad4You Hostel!
The Mad4You Hostel Team