Spain has been historically known for two things, namely, the bullfights and the Spanish wine. Did you know that the country is the third highest producer of wine after Italy and France? But not only that, there are other reasons too that can make the Spaniards proud.
It has also the largest area that is dedicated to wine producing, the especially fortified Spanish wines that are cherished all over the world. The Spanish fortified wine Sherry, which is produced in the region around Jerez de la Frontera, is considered to be the best among all such varieties that are found elsewhere. Those who are true wine enthusiasts cherish Spanish wine and love its taste for what it is.
And here is some interesting information. Did you know that Spanish wine is made also outside this country in Western Europe? Other wine regions that are well known for Spanish wines outside of Spain include Ribera del Duero, Cava, Rioja, Priorat and Penedes.
Of course, all these regions are covered by strict regulations about wine making and in Rioja only four red grape varieties are alowed of which Tempranillo is the primary grape used. All these regulations are intended to ensure that the produce is of a high quality. This is followed by Garnacha, Mazuelo and Graciano.
As about aging, Crianza wines are those that have been aged for around a couple of years while Reservas are aged a little more. On the other hand, Gran Reservas must be aged at least for five years to get the flavor and the taste. As for Ribera del Duero that has been recognized as an official wine region only in 1982, Penedes produces good quantites of both white and red wines while Cava is famous for Torres, which is a noteworthy Spanish brand name.
Sherry, the flagship wine of Spain is mostly produced in southern Spain, using the Solera system to blend wines of different vinatges. However, Sherry has several categories of which few are given below.
Fino Sherry is characterized by Flor that stands for surface growth of yeast in the barrel and carries 15% to 18% alcohol.
Manzanilla Sherry is produced in the Sanlucar district of Spain along the sea coast where the sea breeze lends it some salty taste.It carries 16% to 19% alcohol.
Amontillado Sherry though similar to Fino, does not have as much flor development like Fino or Mazanilla. It has 16% to 22% alcohol in it.
Oloroso Sherry has more RS (Residual Sugar), is deeper and darker in color, having 17% to 22% alcohol.
Crème Sherry, being very rich is a popular dessert-style wine, carrying 15.5% to 22% alcohol
Pedro Ximenez Sherry is made from raisins of Pedro Ximenez grapes that are sun dried is also very rich and is a popular dessert-style wine having around 18% alcohol.
Paolo Cordato Sherry is hard to get by as it is mostly produced with the aid of nature. Alcohol percentage in Paolo Cordato Sherry is around 17% to 22%.