This week’s wine recommendations for Radio WM come to you from Rioja, some of the best value wines around as proved by the mini selection below. Something for everyone.
Campo Viejo Blanco 2015
Tesco £8, currently on offer at £6.50
There isn’t a lot of white Rioja made, and very little imported to the UK so this is a bit unusual. Using a local variety, Viura, and the almost unknown Tempranillo Blanco this is made in a fresh, floral and fruity style. Aromatic and citrusy crisp, people have loved it when I’ve put it on at tastings.
Food match: Lovely on its own, or great with light fish dishes or a Chinese takeaway.
Ramón Bilbao Rosado 2015
This is salmon pink in colour derived from the Garnacha grapes used, which also give the wine a gorgeous fruit salad and roses aroma. It’s dry, and reminds you of cherries with a lifted crisp freshness. It’s just lovely; classy yet so easy to drink.
Food match: cold meats, pizza
Urbina Rioja Crianza 2009
The Wine Society £9.99
Apart the excellent price, one of the best things about this wine is that it is the perfect age and maturity for drinking now. Most of us don’t keep wine so often we drink reds a bit too young. This is wonderfully smooth and soft in the mouth, it is seamlessly balanced and elegant. There’s a cinnamon and clove spiciness along with a savoury, smoky edge.
Food match: Beef casseroles, smoked ham, roast lamb, veal chop, hard cheeses
Conde de Haro Brut 2013 Cava
The Wine Society £12.50
This is a rarity – sparkling wine from Rioja. Made by Muga in the same way as Champagne, with 2 years ageing, it is a wine of bready, Danish pastry character. Rich and expressive with a lively fizz, it is a real bargain at the price.
Food match: Quiche, roast chicken and apple tart.