The Illustrated Guide to Spanish Wines

Despite being only the third-largest producer of wine, Spanish wines are some of the world's most popular. The country's varied climates also meant a wide range of wines, and these spirits reflect the unique cuisine and culture of each wine region. Spanish winemakers are also dedicated to their traditions, ensuring that every bottle remains consistent.

Another contributing factor to the popularity of Spanish wines is accessibility. As many Spanish wineries will pre-age their wines in oak barrels or bottles before selling them, consumers—especially first-timers—can sample the wines without the expensive storage investment. Spanish wines are also more moderately priced compared to their French and Italian counterparts.

Two key features of wine from Spain are the Denominación de Origen or Destination of Origin (DO), and aging. The DO tells consumers the geographical identity, or where the wine is made—from the type of grapes to how vines are maintained or harvested. This is usually shown on the bottle's label or cork.

Meanwhile, labels such as "Joven," "Crianza," "Reserva," or "Gran Reserva" indicate how long the Riejo region wines are aged. The meanings of these labels will depend on whether the wine is red or white and correspond to different levels of aging.

For a more in-depth look at Spanish wines, as well as a list of highly recommended red and white wines, continue to the infographic below.

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