It’s been some time since I have written about Spanish wine, not that I’ve forgotten to drink, I just have bothered to put it down in words. A great deal has happened since the days nearly a decade ago when I decided to set out on an adventure to learn about this world which is so deeply rooted in the culture on tradition of this country. Thos were the days when I wrote my first book Let’s Open a Bottle. The revolution has been moving that quickly and the results have been both fascinating and varied. Many of the up-and-coming regions have continued to soar to stardom while others have kind of let the momentum putter out. Then there are those which have come out of nowhere and taken the market by storm. Who would have expected the Calatayud region, for example, with its rich Garnacha grapes grown from old vines to seduce the market the way it has? But that is exactly what has happened. It should not have come as any surprise, now that I look back at it. Calatayud was a no-namer, but it had a lot of inexpensive wine to produce. Calatayud decided to turn to making some outstanding meaty wines. Whereas regions like Toro have gotten a little too fancy for their footsteps, Calatayud kept its prices at a human rate…and in the end, people appreciate that.
Other developments have taken place just about as we said they would. The Madrid white wine market has succumb to the charms of the Rueda wines which maintain their attractive prices and their solid quality. And many of the giants like Rioja and Ribera continue to uphold the prestige they have enjoyed for decades if not centuries. But the competition is still stiff out there and the offer seems to me more varied and enticing than ever. So, allow me to return to the bottle and fill you in on some of the novelties taking place. I think you’ll find it fun, healthy and not too overbearing. That’s they way good wine should be. You’ll see.