The sun is shining, the temperatures are rising and the barbecue season is upon us. Before you turn on the grill, be sure to get something delicious to wash all the smoky food down. Coming from a warm, sunny climate, Spanish people know a thing or two about being refreshed on a scorching summer day.
Spain is home to some of Europe’s most prominent wine-growing regions, including Rioja, Ribera del Duero and Priorat. Spanish red wine is famous all over the world, but what about the lesser known whites, the unique bubbles, not to mention some of the world’s most popular fortified tipple?
Here’s your ultimate guide to the best Spanish wine (and fortified wine) for your summer barbecue:
Jean Leon 3055 Rosé
Nothing says summer like a perfectly chilled bottle of rosé. While most Spanish rosés are darker in color, the 3055 is an easy-to-drink Provencal-style Pinot Noir with an airy Mediterranean twist. The nose is intense with aromas of white fruit, citrus and strawberries. It is named after the license plate number (3055) on the yellow cab that founder Jean Leon was driving when he moved to New York to earn his fortune.
Torello 225, Brut Nature
Who is the new platinum card from American Express good for?
What to do if you still have not received your child’s tax credit
Add some sparkle to your summer barbecue with this excellent Torelló wine. This winery is one of 11 behind the new “Corpinnat” brand for Spanish sparkling high-end, making it the perfect choice when looking for something a little more sophisticated than standard cava. This aromatic sparkling white has a long-lasting, pleasant aftertaste and scents of fresh flowers, honey flower and rosemary.
Vilarnau Brut Rosado
Sparkling wine is always festive, but pink bubbles are guaranteed to get the party going. Located just outside Barcelona, Vilarnau is a small batch, high-quality, exclusive cava craft producer. This pink organic wine is fresh, smooth and fruity, yet not sweet. Easy to drink, it goes well with everything from burgers to seafood.
Godello wines from Bierzo in northern Spain have almost disappeared in the 1970s, but have made a strong comeback in recent years. Well balanced, with refreshing minerality, these lively white wines work equally well with or without food. This summer, if you toss some fish or vegetables on the grill, Godelia Godello will wash them down beautifully as its refreshing acidity mates excellently with fatty fish like salmon or tuna.
Can Sumoi Perfume
With their perfume bottle shape, Can Sumois wines are as easy on the eye as for the palette, making them the perfect gift to bring to hosts. Perfume is an organic, natural white wine produced on a biodynamic farm in the Penedès wine region. It has a high aromatic intensity, with notes of flowers, tropical fruits and citrus fruits, and is particularly suitable for fish and smoked dishes.
Marquis of Murrieta Reserve
Red wine may not feel like the obvious choice when it’s hot outside, but serve it a little chilled and it’s just the ticket. From the superb Finca Ygay in Rioja, the Marqués de Murrieta Reserva is an elegant, well-balanced red. Its freshness and soft tannins give it a nice, full-bodied texture, making it the perfect combination with grilled meat.
In 1770, monks settled in the inhospitable country of the Costers del Segre region to make amends. They started making wine, and when barrels mysteriously began to disappear, the monks claimed that the angels took them to heaven. The smoky, roasted notes of this heavenly red from the Familia Torres combine perfectly with grilled meats, while the Mediterranean character goes particularly well with spices such as rosemary or thyme.
Martinez LaCuesta Vermouth
Going to an aperitif in Spain is called going for vermouth. Such is this fortified wine ubiquitous. There’s even one time of the week for vermouth: it’s known as vermouth time, and it happens every Sunday just before lunchtime (which is 2pm in Spain). Vermouth is an easy drink to prepare: just pour it over ice cream and serve with an olive and a slice of orange on a toothpick.
Uncle Pepe Sherry
Sherry is hotter than ever, and on a difficult summer day, nothing hits the spot like a refreshing sherry-based cocktail. Tío Pepe Palomino Fino of the legendary winery González Byass is the base for tiojito: a refreshing mojito-style cocktail with a sherry twist. It’s easy to make: all you need is crushed ice, a slice of lemon, Tío Pepe, lemonade and mint leaves. Or watch this video for full instructions.