I’m friends with VB. Not that VB (seriously though, have you read Mrs Beckham’s interview in this month’s Vogue? She’s fab). This is Very Bored, or Very Bored in Catalunya to give her blog its full title. Luckily, boredom drives her to write very funny stuff. It also drives her to drink (in moderation, obviously) and she knows lots about good Spanish wines. So thank you, VB, for your post below on Spanish wines worth foraging for.
I wanted to do a post about Catalan wines that are available in the UK, sadly my research showed that there are very few Catalan wines available in British supermarkets and wine merchants, in fact there are precious few Spanish wines full stop. Except, of course, the erstwhile Rioja. Now I am not knocking Rioja, hell I drink enough of it, but I wanted people to realise that there are alternatives, bloody good alternatives, to Rioja. Spain has some fantastic wine regions, I am lucky in that 40 minutes drive from my home are the wonderful wine regions of Priorat and Montsant, and just under an hour away north and I am in Penedès— home of wine giants Torres and of course Cava country.
Priorat is a tiny region in Tarragona and the wines are usually extraordinarily expensive, prices tend to range from €20 to €500 a bottle so I was delighted to find that Sainsbury’s do a Taste the Difference Priorat at just £9.99, sadly the website doesn’t specify which grapes are used but I am guessing it would be a blend of Granacha and Cariñena with a dash of something else (Cabernet Sauvignon or Syrah).
The area surrounding Priorat is called Montsant and much more affordable but just as quaffable wines can be found from here. Booths supermarket (sadly only up north) stocks a wine from my most favourite vineyard – Capçanes. Mas Collet made from the Granacha grape at £8.16.
Torres, a huge company based in Penedès, make a fabulous Granacha/Cariñena blend in their Sangre De Toro which is available from Morrisons & Asda at £7.03 and Waitrose at a penny cheaper!
Moving across the country to Navarra, sadly overshadowed by its next door neighbour Rioja, this style is certainly hard to track down. I’ve managed to find some – Agramont – at Majestic at £7.99 a bottle – a Tempranillo and Cabernet Sauvignon blend.
Last but by no means least, and a particular favourite of Mr Very Bored is Ribero del Duero. Hailing from the Castilla y León area of north-west Spain. Not for the faint hearted, the Blason is a full bodied wine (Tempranillo is the grape) with a full bodied price tag to match at £12.34 a bottle from Waitrose Wine Direct. Save it for a special occasion with a great piece of red meat.
Wendy can usually be found chewing the fat over at Very Bored in Catalunya when she’s not busy slurping lovely Spanish wine that is.